Thousands of Chinese graduate students’ visas may be cancelled by the United States, as President Donald Trump’s administration believes they have links with China’s military.

The United States plan could affect 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese students and could be announced as early as this week, VisaGuide.World reports.

According to sources of Reuters, Chinese students currently in the United States will have their visas cancelled and will be expelled, while those already outside the United States will not be allowed to return.

The source stressed that the main purpose of this decision is to clamp down on spying and intellectual property theft that some Chinese nationals are suspected of engaging in on US university and college campuses, adding that the administration expected significant push back from those institutions because of their financial interests in Chinese student enrollment.

Regarding the issue, administration officials did not reveal a list of affected universities while the State Department did not respond to a request from Inside Higher Ed seeking the list.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican of Florida who has raised concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s links to American universities, “welcomed” the visa cancellations on Twitter.

“Good move to address #China using some students at our universities to steal research & advance military capabilities. This must be addressed in a targeted way while rejecting xenophobia,” he pointed out.

President Donald Trump is also considering targeted travel and financial sanctions against Chinese officials for actions in Hong Kong.

“We’ll be announcing what we’re doing tomorrow concerning China, and we are not happy with China…We are not happy with what’s happened. All over the world, people are suffering, 186 countries. All over the world, they’re suffering. We’re not happy,” President Trump said during an event held on Thursday, referring to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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