WASHINGTON: Unloading on China’s leader Xi Jinping and his Communist Party for their relentless expansionism and revisionism in the region while commending India for “doing its best” to respond to

Beijing's “incredibly aggressive actions” on the border, the United States on Wednesday pledged to bring the world’s democracies together to meet the hegemonic Chinese challenge.

The Trump administration also imposed another layer of sanctions on Beijing on Tuesday, announcing visa restrictions for a certain group of Chinese officials under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.

Beijing has continued systematically to obstruct travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas by US diplomats and other officials, journalists, and tourists, while Chinese officials and other citizens enjoy far greater access to the United States, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, while announcing restrictions on Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party officials determined to be “substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas.

Disclosing that he had spoken to India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar “a number of times” about the India-China situation, Pompeo said at a State Department interaction that the issue has to be seen in the larger context of the number of maritime and boundary disputes the Chinese communist party was engaged in.

“The Chinese took incredibly aggressive action ... the Indians have done their best to respond to that… there aren't many neighbours that can satisfactorily say that they know where their sovereignty ends and that the Chinese Communist Party will respect that sovereignty. That's certainly true now for the people of Bhutan as well,” Pompeo said, referring also the latest spurious claim by Beijing over Bhutanese territory that is not even contiguous to China.

Pompeo said the world must come together to respond to this “increasing revisionist effort” that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, and it is something that President Trump has taken “incredibly seriously” in a way that hadn’t been done in previous administrations.

“I think the world has seen the true colours of the Chinese Communist Party and I am convinced more than ever that the free peoples of the world will come to understand the threat that's presented, not only internally, inside of China, but importantly that the impact that General Secretary Xi has on the world is not good for free peoples and democracy loving peoples,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo’s China smack-down was preceded by a blistering assessment of its economic depredations by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said Beijing’s use of espionage and cyber attacks against the United States amounted to “one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history” and the potential economic harm to American businesses and the economy as a whole “almost defies calculation.”

“To achieve its goals and surpass America, China recognises it needs to make leaps in cutting edge technology, but the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimises, in effect, cheating twice,” Wray said in an address at he Hudson Institute.

Of the nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases currently under way across the country, almost half are related to China, Wray disclosed, adding that “And at this very moment, China is working to compromise American health care organisations, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research.”

The attack on China from different wings of the administration came amid reports of more sanctions in the works including a ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps. President Trump is also expected to sign into law sanctions relating to Hong Kong passed by U.S lawmakers, and separate executive actions are expected to put China on notice.

On its part, China taunted the US for its allegations and actions. "The world No.1 hacking state spares no efforts in accusing China of cyber theft, even saying that fun social-networking apps popular with youngsters have been weaponized. How come the only superpower in the world is so emotionally fragile and lacks self-confidence?" China's spokesperson Hua Chunying tweeted.