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Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese telecom Huawei and other companies that "provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights violations globally," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's latest escalation against Huawei, which U.S. intelligence officials view as a threat to national security due to its ties to the Chinese military, comes the day after the U.K. announced it will no longer allow the telecom to access its 5G network.

  • The U.K. decision was a big win for the Trump administration, which has sought to firewall Huawei from networks around the world while putting intense pressure on its closest ally to make such a move.
  • Pompeo commended the decision and announced he would visit the U.K. and Denmark, which has also banned Huawei from its 5G network, next week.

What he's saying: "The tide is turning," Pompeo said. "I think the work that's been done all across the world is now making clear to everyone that there is a real security risk."

  • "Now, every nation is simply asking the question, how do you do it?"
  • "What are the commercial impacts, how quickly can you move in that direction, and how do you ensure we have available, cost-effective solutions that don't subject our people to the risk that comes from having this infrastructure inside our country."

What to watch: In recent months, Beijing has met the Trump administration's embrace of reciprocity with a clear tit for tat. The Chinese government is likely to respond with corresponding restrictions of its own.

The big picture: Pompeo declined to answer when asked by a reporter whether he considers the Chinese government to be "evil," as he has labeled Iran, but stressed that China's human rights violations are the "stain of the century."

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2020 - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

Oct 20, 2020 - World

Right-wing media falsely ties Black Lives Matter movement to Beijing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Right-wing outlets and commentators have recently spread a false claim linking the Chinese Communist Party to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Why it matters: Such claims raise concerns that a real issue — that of Chinese government interference in U.S. politics — could be wrongly invoked along partisan lines to attack Americans engaging in legitimate activities.

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.