The Trump administration is poised to declare China among the world's worst offenders on human trafficking, US officials said Monday, putting the world's most populous country in the same category as North Korea, Zimbabwe and Syria,
China's downgrade is to be announced Tuesday at the State Department when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unveils the annual Trafficking in Persons Report to Congress, said the officials, who weren't authorized to comment publicly ahead of the announcement and demanded anonymity. The ceremony is also expected to be attended by Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser, who has emphasized human trafficking issues.
The determination marks the first major, public rebuke of China's human rights record by the Trump administration, which has generally avoided direct, public criticism of Beijing while seeking its cooperation in combatting North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. The report is likely to draw strong protest from China's communist government.
China will be listed under "Tier 3," the ranking system's lowest category, which applies to countries failing to meet minimum standards to prevent human trafficking or making significant improvement efforts. Other countries that have recently been on that list include Sudan, Iran and Haiti.