The Trump administration has banned some Chinese students and researchers from entering the United States after accusing them of stealing intellectual property, the White House said on Friday in a statement cited by the Chinese state media.
The entry ban goes into effect at midnight on June 1, 2020. The US government has deemed some Chinese students, especially post-graduate students and post-doctorate researchers, to be stealing sensitive technologies and intellectual properties for the benefit of Beijing, which the White House said could threaten the security of the country, CGTN reported.
The American media such as ABC News and the Wall Street Journal considered the move to be part of the US reaction to the latest adoption of a draft decision by China’s top legislature, concerning the legislation of a national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
The move, first reported by the New York Times ahead of Trump’s announcement, is estimated to influence at least 3,000-5,000 Chinese students.
During Friday’s Chinese Foreign Ministry press conference, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said such a move would run counter to the openness and freedom the US claims to champion and would impact the normal cultural and personnel exchanges between the two countries while undermining the social foundation for bilateral relations.
“It would be stark political persecution and racial discrimination and a grave violation of their human rights,” Zhao said at the press conference, urging the American side to stop using all sorts of excuses to wantonly restrict and repress Chinese students in the US.
It “exposed some Americans’ deep-seated, zero-sum Cold War mentality,” the spokesperson said, and queried whether or not this is “a rebirth of the notorious ghost of McCarthyism”.
American universities are also expected to push back against the decision of the administration. According to other media reports, there are some 360,000 Chinese nationals studying in US schools annually, generating about USD14 billion, including tuition and other fees.
Meanwhile, the US officials acknowledged that there was no direct evidence pointing to any wrongdoing by the students who are about to lose their visas, according to the New York Times.