Trump Revokes 1,000 Chinese Visas Alleging Intellectual Property Theft
14 September 2020
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced his decision to revoke 1,000 visas belonging to Chinese students and researchers on 8th September 2020.
As stated by The Hindu, as many as 3,60,000 Chinese nationals currently study in various colleges throughout the United States and earn a lucrative revenue for the US educational institutions.
Asia Times reported that President Trump had alleged in his proclamation that many Chinese nationals including students and researchers—who were officially residing in the United States—were involved in unethical spying and stealing the country’s technologies. He also claimed that they were stealing intellectual property aimed at helping China achieve its goal of military dominance. However, the state department spokesperson has cited security risks posed by these 'high-risk’ graduate students and research scholars as to the primary motivation behind the government’s decisions.
CNN reports that according to the State Department, this decision has affected only a small percentage of Chinese students and researchers. It added, "We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party's goals of military dominance". However, some Asian-American activists feel that this decision might lead to students of Asian origin facing discrimination and questions regarding their integrity.
Trump’s decision came in the wake of deteriorating relations between the United States and China over several issues. These range from China's anti-democratic stand on Hong Kong—which resulted in several protests— to China’s new national security law in Hong Kong which has sparked outrage globally. Trade issues and alleged attempts at stealing the COVID-19 research are also issues leading to strain between the two nations, reported The Hindu.
Another reason behind the worsening ties between the US and China is President Donald Trump's allegations that Beijing was hiding the truth about the COVID-19 virus originating from the wet market of Wuhan.
In June 2020, the United States of America announced the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. In response to this, China announced the closure of its US mission in Chengdu.
This recent decision regarding the revocation of student visas is likely to bring about a retaliatory response from Beijing and further intensify the strain on the ties between China and the United States of America.
(Sources: The Hindu, Asia Times, CNN)
Edited by Nayana Dhanya