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WASHINGTON: Washing-ton has sharply tightened travel visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party, the State Department announced Thursday, saying they were "hostile to US values" and engage in "nefarious activities."

Under the new rules, effective immediately, visas issued to Communist Party members and their immediate families will remain valid for just one month after issuance, and for single entry.

Previously some visas were issued that permitted unlimited entries and could remain valid for as long as 10 years.

"For decades we allowed the CCP free and unfettered access to US institutions and businesses while these same privileges were never extended freely to US citizens in China," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

"Through various entities, the CCP and its members actively work in the US to influence Americans through propaganda, economic coercion and other nefarious activities," it added.

It also said the CCP sends "agents" into the United States to monitor and harass Chinese nationals studying or working in the country as well as Chinese-American groups targeted for their politics.