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The US Considers Canceling Thousands Of Chinese Graduate Students Visas

President Trump speaks at the White House on May 28. Photo: AP .

The Trump administration may be about to cancel visas for thousands of Chinese graduate students studying at US universities, and impose sanctions on Chinese officials.

President Trump said he would issue a statement on China on May 29, the latest in tensions between Washington and Beijing in many ways, including the Covid-19 epidemic, the trade war, Hong Kong or East Sea.

The US government   is considering a proposal that has been in place for months now to cancel visas for students from Chinese schools connected with the Chinese military or intelligence.

The proposal, discussed last year, is not directly related to the conflict between the two countries over Hong Kong or the Covid-19 epidemic, but concerns trade and human rights issues.

The first move in the plan was made last year when the US asked Chinese diplomats in the United States to report travel and meetings with American scholars. The US side says this is a response to what US diplomats face when working in China.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is also considering travel and financial limits targeting Chinese officials, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This travel and financial sanctions are a direct response to the security bill for Hong Kong. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously determined that Hong Kong no longer had the autonomy that Beijing had promised in its "one-country, two-regime" commitment, and so Hong Kong no longer received special incentives from the US. America.

The proposal to cancel the student visa, first reported by the New York Times, has faced opposition from US universities. The revenue of American schools is heavily based on Chinese students. In addition, the schools are concerned that Beijing will respond, making the access and research on China of students and professors limited.

"We are very concerned about how this regulation will apply, and we are afraid it will send the message that we are not welcoming talented students and scholars from around the world."
Said Sarah Spreitzer, from US Board of Education.
She said there is not much detail on how the US government will determine which students are from schools connected to the Chinese military or intelligence. But, for example, if a country imposes limits on US universities that receive funding from the US Department of Defense, there may be quite a few.

Recognizing the concern of the schools, US officials say all limits will be quite narrow, targeting only students who pose a significant risk of espionage or intellectual property theft. US officials do not say how many students will have their visas canceled, but said that number will only represent a small percentage of the total number of Chinese students.

The United States had 133,396 graduate students from China in the 2018-2019 academic year, accounting for 36.1% of all postgraduate international students, according to the Institute of International Education.

The total number of Chinese students is 369,548, accounting for 33.7% of the total international students. Total international students contributed US $ 15 billion to the US economy in 2018.

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