As reported by the BBC, the United States says it has revoked the visas of more than 1000 Chinese students and researchers who they have branded “security risks”.
Consequently, this follows Donald Trump’s proclamation on 29th May that China is engaging in a “wide ranging and heavily resourced campaign to acquire sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property”, and accused them of using Chinese students “to operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property”.
A Determined US, an Enraged China.
The United States’ stand on this is quite clear. The more-than-1000 students whose visas were revoked are deemed “high-risk graduate students and research scholars”. The ones displaced are only a small subset of about 370,000 Chinese students.
The US Assistant Secretary of State, David Stilwell buttressed that America’s doors are wide open for students who come to learn. However, for those who come with ill intentions, masquerading as students, he says, “we have to defend ourselves.”
According to a state department spokesperson, “We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party’s goals of military dominance.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry denounced the move in a statement made by Chinese spokesperson, Zhao Lijian. He said, “This is outright political persecution and racial discrimination. It seriously violates the human rights of these Chinese students.”
As It Is—The US-China Relationship.
The relationship between China and the United States has sunk to its lowest level in decades. In July, Washington DC closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, calling it a “spy centre”. Expectedly, this triggered retaliation from Beijing. They ordered the US to close down its own consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu.
This is perhaps the most significant development yet in the deterioration between relations between the two countries; not including series of visa restrictions, new rules on diplomatic travel, and the expulsion of foreign nationals.
The US is accused, largely, of driving this latest cycle of confrontation. However, do not be quick to conclude. A series of recent apprehensions show that the US has some grounds in their suspicions:
In August, officials caught a Chinese scholar at the University of Virginia, Haizhou Hu, with research-related software code. Code which was linked to military information—among other captures.
No one expects these tensions to be resolved anytime soon. Both presidential candidates (Trump and Biden) are likely to take the potential threat of illegal tech transfer very seriously. It is common knowledge that both are including a get-tough-with-China message in their respective campaigns.
Exiled by the US, Unwanted Back Home.
Meanwhile, the Chinese students in the US are on the receiving end of this short stick. Shizheng Tie, a senior student at Johns Hopkins, says she continues to face hostility from fellow American students.
It doesn’t help that Donald Trump had used the words “kung flu” and “Chinese virus” to describe the ongoing pandemic. She buttressed that the fact that America has now become “anti-China” and “chaotic”.
On the other hand, China, which is currently recuperating from the effects of the coronavirus has ordered sharp cuts in international flights. This has left many Chinese students stranded overseas, thousands of miles away from their families.
On Chinese social media, various comments portray these students as spoiled brats. Students who fled from the country’s competitive educational system, and now should not be allowed to impede its recuperation.
“America wants to kick us out, while China does not want us to return”, Tie says.
What do you think? Could America be turning students into political targets, or are they right in being defensive of their technology and economy. Let us know down in the comments.
More: Government: “Why Do You Massacre Christians?”—Trump Asks Buhari.
All You Need to Know: World’s First Covid-19 Vaccine—from Russia?