US Cancels 1K Visas of Chinese Nationals, Citing Security Risks

Donald Trump has reportedly incorporated getting tough on China as a key aspect of his campaign for re-election.

2 min read
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The US government has cancelled visas for more than 1,000 Chinese nationals on Tuesday, 8 September, reported Reuters.

This comes in the aftermath of a proclamation by the US President, on 29 May, suspending the entry of Chinese students and researchers deemed to be security risk, reported Reuters, citing a State Department spokesperson.

“As of 8 September 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.”   
US State Department Spokesperson   

According to Reuters, the spokesperson also said that the ineligible “high-risk graduate students and research scholars" merely made up "a small subset" of the Chinese coming to the United States to study and research. She further reportedly added that legitimate students and scholars were welcome.


The Purpose

The reported purpose of this, as pointed out by Chad Wolf, the acting chief of the US Department of Homeland Security, was to prevent “certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China's military fusion strategy” from “stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research”.

Further, Reuters quoted Wolf as saying that the US was also "preventing goods produced from slave labour from entering our markets, demanding that China respect the inherent dignity of each human being," This according to Reuters is in apparent reference to China’s alleged abused of Muslims in Xinjiang region.

US President Donald Trump has also incorporated getting tough on China as a key aspect of his campaign for re-election on 3 November.

Chinese Students Attempt to Make Sense of What is Happening

According to Reuters, some Chinese students, admitted in US universities, had earlier informed that they had received emails from the US Embassy in Beijing or US consulates in China informing them that their visas had been revoked.

Over 60 students, according to the news agency, said in a WeChat chatroom that the notices stated they would have to apply for fresh visas if they wanted to travel to the United States.

A final year undergraduate student at University of Illinois, reportedly told Reuters that the only reason he could think of, for them cancelling his visa, would be his previous experience at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), a Chinese university known for its defence and security technology research.

"I studied at BUPT before year two, but I have no connections with that university since," he told Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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