Washington, United States:
The United States said Thursday that all options were open to pressure on China, which expressed outrage over reports that President Donald Trump is considering a comprehensive visa ban for Communist party members.
The New York Times, and later the Wall Street Journal, reported that Trump is considering a proposal to deny entry of all ruling party members to the U.S. – including a who's who of the political and business elite in the world's most populous nation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was asked about the reports in Fox News, said the government was planning to "push back against the Chinese Communist Party."
"We want to make sure that we do this in a way that reflects American tradition, and there are many ideas that are being examined by the President and our team," he said without commenting directly.
White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany said during a briefing about Trump: "He hasn't ruled out any action regarding China."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying described the reported idea of a visa ban as "very pitiful" for the "strongest power" in the world.
"We hope that the US will refrain from doing more things that violate the basic norms of international relations and undermine its reputation, credibility and status as an important country," she told reporters.
Trump has increased pressure on China and has repeatedly accused Asian powers of not preventing the coronavirus pandemic, which is taking a heavy toll in the United States months before the elections.
Last week, the State Department announced that three high-ranking Chinese officials have been denied visas for abuse in the Xinjiang region, which right-wing groups say over a million Uighurs and other Turkish Muslims are detained.
However, a comprehensive ban on members of the Chinese Communist Party would be an extraordinary undertaking that would require the US authorities to investigate the three million Chinese who visited each year before the pandemic trip.
Chinese state media said last year that more than 90 million people belonged to the party, 35 percent of whom were "workers and peasants".
For many Chinese, membership in the 99-year-old party is seen as crucial to advancement. Many observers were scared in 2018 when they learned that Jack Ma, the billionaire businessman behind e-commerce titan Alibaba, was part of the party.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)