US Cancels 1k China Student Visas, Claiming Ties to Military
By Staff, Agencies
The United States revoked the visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers it said had ties to the Chinese military, accusing some of espionage, in the latest dispute between the rival superpowers.
China had been “abusing student visas to exploit American academia”, claimed Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the US Department of Homeland Security, in a speech on Wednesday.
“We are blocking visas for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China’s military fusion strategy to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research.”
It follows a proclamation in late May from US President Donald Trump that “certain graduate level and above Chinese nationals associated with entities in China” that support or work with the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army [PLA] would be blocked from entering the US.
He said Chinese nationals studying in the US had stolen intellectual property and assisted the PLA.
Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flagged moves on student visas, telling a local radio show: Not every Chinese student who is here is working on behalf of or at the behest of, the direction of the Chinese Communist party, but it’s something Trump has taken a serious, serious look at.
On Wednesday the state department confirmed more than 1,000 visas had been revoked under its “broad authority” since it began acting on the Trump order on 1 June. A department spokeswoman declined to give details on the visas revoked, citing privacy laws, but said: “The high-risk graduate students and research scholars made ineligible under this proclamation represent a small subset of the total number of Chinese students and scholars coming to the United States.”
Chinese people make up the largest proportion of international university students in the US, with about 370,000 enrolled in 2018-19.