US cancels visas of Chinese students deeming security risks

The United States has decided to cancel more than 1,000 visas of Chinese nationals for security reasons, adding fuel to the fire that China has to some countries.

The decision comes under a presidential proclamation dated May 29 that says the United States would suspend entry of Chinese students and researchers believed to be “security risks.”

According to a report by Times of India, the acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said that Washington is blocking visas for individual Chinese graduates and researchers that have ties to China’s military fusion strategy.

Reasons for the big step

The matter prevents the said students and researchers from gaining access to sensitive analyses.

Wolf believes that China is abusing the power of student visas and has claimed that through these students, China tried to steal confidential data, including, but not limited to, stealing the research done on the coronavirus.

Wolf added that the move would prevent goods produced from slave labor from entering the American market, a reference to the alleged exploitation of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.

He demanded that China should respect the fundamental integrity of humans while conducting business.

A state spokeswoman said that China’s curb of democracy influenced the decision of Hong Kong; it was also one of the announcements by President Donald Trump on May 29.

“As of September 8, 2020, the Department has revoked more than 1,000 visas of PRC nationals who were found to be subject to Presidential Proclamation 10043 and therefore ineligible for a visa,” she said.

She also mentioned that the “high-risk graduates and research scholars” represent a small subset of the Chinese population in the US and that legitimate students and scholars are still welcome in the States.

For the time being, about 360,000 Chinese nationals are studying in the US, bringing in significant revenue, although the COVID-19 pandemic has halted their return to college in the autumn semester.

Earlier, several Chinese students revealed that they had received notices via email on Wednesday, saying that their visas were revoked.

Impact of the decision

The China-US relations have deteriorated heavily in the past, be it clashes over human rights, coronavirus, or the situation in Hong Kong due to China.

Trump, who initially had friendly ties with China’s President Xi Jinping to reduce the massive trade deficit, has made getting strict on China a vital part of his next campaign. He has even accused his competitor Joe Biden of being too soft to the country.

Reports say that the US Customs and Border Protection officials are preparing for a move that would restrict the entry of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang. A formal announcement of the same is yet to be made known.

Image used courtesy of Anton Watman/Shutterstock

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