According to sources familiar with U.S. – China relations, Washington is planning to cancel the visas of thousands of Chinese graduate students that President Donald Trump believes are tied to China’s military.
This was first reported by the New York Times, and it is said that it can impact somewhere around 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese students and probably it will be announced by the end of this week.
Chinese students are expected to get their visas canceled and to get expelled from the U.S., and those outside the country will not be allowed to return, according to the sources.
Tensions between the U.S. and China continue to rise because of various issues, like the handling of the coronavirus by China, and now Beijing’s decision to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists in the city and Western countries believe that it can undermine human freedoms massively.
According to the source, the main purpose of the action is to clamp down on spying and intellectual property theft that some Chinese nationals are suspected of engaging in on U.S. university and college campuses. Also, the administration expected significant push back from those institutions because of their financial interests in Chinese student enrollment.
Reuters reported that around 360,000 Chinese nationals who attend U.S. schools annually generate economic activity of about $14 billion largely from tuition and other fees. The decision on the visas is likely to further sour ties between the world’s top two economies – also at odds over the coronavirus pandemic and trade.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo told Congress that China has undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy so fundamentally he could not support recertifying the city’s special pre-1997 trading status established when it was a British colony.