(Minghui.org) In an effort to advance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the U.S. is taking a series of actions against officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for engaging in human rights abuses.

After imposing sanctions on 14 vice chairpersons of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on December 7 and another 17 officials from foreign governments and their immediate family members, including one Chinese police officer participating in persecuting Falun Gong, on December 10, the U.S. Department of State announced additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials engaging in human rights abuses on December 21.

“China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association, and the right to peaceful assembly. The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.

According to Pompeo, the additional restrictions are under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which limits “the issuance of visas for Chinese officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors.”

“Family members of such persons may also be subject to these additional restrictions,” he added.

Pompeo also said that “This action demonstrates the U.S. government’s resolve to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its increasing repression against the Chinese people. This year, the United States has imposed visa restrictions and financial sanctions on CCP officials involved in the horrific abuses taking place in Xinjiang, restrictions on access to Tibet, and the destruction of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy. Today’s action creates additional restrictions applicable to all CCP officials engaged in such repressive activities, no matter their location.”

He said that the U.S. stands with those individuals persecuted for their peaceful efforts to exercise their rights. “We call for their immediate release and urge CCP authorities to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which the people of China are entitled under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”