Sep 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

U.S. cancels 1,000 visas for Chinese nationals deemed security risks

A US and a Chinese flag wave outside a commercial building in Beijing, 09 July
Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. has revoked more than 1,000 visas of Chinese nationals as of this week under a proclamation by President Trump aimed at student researchers suspected of having links to China's military.

Driving the news: The State Department said in an emailed statement late Wednesday that the policy, which took effect June 1, "safeguards U.S. national security, preventing the theft of American technologies, intellectual property, and information to develop advanced military capabilities" and that it has "broad authority" to revoke visas.

  • "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," the department's statement noted.
  • "We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party's goals of military dominance."

The big picture: More than 360,000 Chinese students are enrolled at U.S. colleges. The students have been caught in the middle as U.S.-China bilateral ties have rapidly deteriorated over the past year, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian notes.

What they're saying: Acting Homeland Security Chad Wolf said Wednesday, "China has leveraged every aspect of its country including its economy, its military, and its diplomatic power, demonstrating a rejection of western liberal democracy and continually renewing its commitment to remake the world order in its own authoritarian image."

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