Western chinese food has become a major target of U.S. anti-corruption efforts, as it’s been accused of being “cheap” and lacking in quality.
And that perception is only likely to get worse in the wake of the indictment of its chief executive officer, Wang Jieyi, on Tuesday, as well as the arrest of other top executives, according to China-based human rights activists.
While Wang, 54, is the latest Chinese official to be charged, including former foreign minister Wu Xiaoming, and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty, the extent of his alleged crimes has raised concerns among many that Western chinas political system may be cracking down on those who dare criticize the government.
“I think there’s a risk in the current atmosphere that some Western countries may be trying to punish Western companies for the Chinese government’s political crimes,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“That’s going to put pressure on the Chinese authorities to crack down on critics, to crackdown on political dissent and so on.”
China has been cracking down in recent years on anyone who dares to challenge the government, with authorities often targeting social media and bloggers who dare to criticize the Communist Party.
In the wake to the arrests of other senior officials in recent months, Western chines political system has been shaken by a wave of protests, with some countries now banning protests and blocking public gatherings.
While China has been a leading supplier of Western food, the country has also seen a rise in food safety issues in recent weeks, with the U.K. food watchdog recently announcing that it will ban British produce, including vegetables and fruit, from China.
The U.N. has also urged Beijing to take steps to improve the safety of food.
In the United States, President Donald Trump has ordered a review of U to China trade, but his administration has been slow to respond.
It’s unclear if that review will lead to the loosening of restrictions on Chinese food.
“China has a lot of food that it’s not necessarily good at producing, and it’s a real challenge to the Chinese economy,” said Jonathan Wachtel, an associate professor at the School of International Studies at the University of Washington.
“I think the U.”