Under a presidential proclamation announced on late May by Donald Trump, the United States has decided to cancel visas for over 1,000 Chinese nationals, specifically students and researchers, citing that they are considered harmful for the country’s national safety due to a possible connection to the Chinese military.
According to the State Department, this decision has been taken“to stop them from stealing United States technology, intellectual property and information to develop advanced military capabilities.”
Regarding this issue, the acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said that visas are cancelled for these students and scholars to prevent them from ‘stealing’, especially the important sensitive research carried in the US. Wolf, among others, mentioned the US charges on China for unjust business practices and espionage, while at the same time, accusing China of having tried to steal research on COVID-19 pandemic and abuse student visas aiming to trigger damage to American Academia, VisaGuide.World reports.
Whereas, a State Department spokeswoman emphasized on Wednesday that since September 8, 2020, the Department has annulled 1,000 visas of PRC nationals assessed as not eligible for a visa, who were considered a subject to Presidential Proclamation 10043.
“We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party’s goals of military dominance,” the spokeswoman stated.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the continuation of studies in many countries in the world, in the US as well, there are nearly 360,000 Chinese students in the United States of America, who bring a considerable amount of income to the country.
While the relations between China and the US appear to be worsening recently, in June, China called on the US to start committing to reaching a mutual understanding and exchange between the two countries as well as expressed its stances against the US’s restrictions on revoking visas for Chinese nationals.
Chinese students admitted in the US universities had previously reported that they were receiving emails from the US Embassy in Beijing or US Consulates in China, notifying them of the revocation of their visas. In a WeChat chat room, around 50 students who previously held F-1 academic visas stated that they will now have to apply for a new visa if they want to travel to the United States.