In a new move, The United States has ended five cultural exchange programmes with China, which could further escalate tensions between the two leading economies of the world.
The outgoing Trump administration took the decision by stating that the programmes were being used to promote Chinese propaganda and that The United States had no benefits from them.
The programmes which were terminated are the Policymakers Educational China Trip Program, the US-China Friendship Program, the US-China Leadership Exchange Program, the US-China Transpacific Exchange Program and the Hong Kong Educational and Cultural Program.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the exchange programmes he ended were fully paid for and operated by the Chinese Government “as soft power propaganda tools”.
They provided “carefully curated access to Chinese Communist Party officials, not to the Chinese people, who do not enjoy freedoms of speech and assembly”, he said in a statement late Friday.
The US announced earlier this week that the new time limits on visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families are valid to one month reducing them from the previous validity of 10 years.
The Trump administration has taken a variety of punitive measures against China as disputes sharpen over human rights, the coronavirus pandemic, and trade, technology, Taiwan and many other issues.
However, these policies could be modified or changed by the new incoming president Joe Biden.