The U.S. is talking about China in a way it hasn’t since the days of Mao Zedong's disastrous rule. White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien wrote in the Washington Post last week that “individuals do not possess inherent value” in Communist orthodoxy. Assistant Secretary of State David R. Stilwell said in a Tuesday speech that “only the gullible or the co-opted can still credit Beijing’s pretense of good global citizenship.”
Now, Washington is reportedly considering a blanket ban on Communist Party members (and maybe their families) in the United States. It's one step short of a "nuclear option" in U.S.-China ties — consider it heavy ordnance that would personally affect Chinese leaders and their families in a way that sanctions and tariffs don't. The possible move, reported Wednesday in the New York Times, would put millions of Chinese nationals under a cloud of suspicion and could render as many as 270 million ineligible for Stateside travel. Countermeasures could be massive. Beijing loves the appearance of symmetry; what if it banned all registered Republicans from China?
Read the full story and more from POLITICO China Watcher.