Over 3,000 Chinese students are at risk of canceling US visas due to their ties to the People’s Liberation Army
Disagreements between the United States and China amid the coronavirus pandemic, technological espionage and discrimination against religious minorities provoked the White House to start looking for foreign spies among the Chinese student elite.
Today, the approximate number of students from China totals more than 360 thousand people. According to The New York Times, more than 3,000 of them are affiliated with Chinese universities tied to the People’s Liberation Army, which calls into question the possibility of obtaining education in the United States and can be recognized as a threat to the country's national security.
The meeting between US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took place on Tuesday. At the meeting, the participants discussed a further plan of impact and pressure on China.
The F.B.I. and the Justice Department have warned universities about the potential of Chinese spies among the student population – especially in the sciences – but schools have been leery of targeting students due to their nationality and have said security protocols are in place, The Times reported.
“In China, much more of society is government-controlled or government-affiliated,” Frank Wu, a law professor and the incoming president of Queens College at the City University of New York, told The Times. “You can’t function there or have partners from there if you aren’t comfortable with how the system is set up.”
The opinions of officials on the policy of artificial restrictions on education on the basis of nationality were divided. Some influential politicians are inclined to believe that China gives instructions to their students and even encourages intelligence gathering, while others believe that US intelligence agencies monitor the most vulnerable students and entice them to have a double agent.
The US State Department refused to publicize the list of American and Chinese universities whose students will be subject to sanctions.