The US State Department has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers it said had ties to the Chinese military, accusing some of espionage, in the latest dispute between the rival superpowers.
On Wednesday the state department confirmed more than 1,000 visas had been revoked under its “broad authority” since it began acting on the Trump order on 1 June.
A department spokeswoman declined to give details on the visas revoked, citing privacy laws, but said: “The high-risk graduate students and research scholars made ineligible under this proclamation represent a small subset of the total number of Chinese students and scholars coming to the United States.”
Chinese people make up the largest proportion of international university students in the US, with about 370,000 enrolled in 2018-19. She said the US continued to welcome students and scholars from China, “who do not further the Chinese Communist party’s goals of military dominance”.
China had been “abusing student visas to exploit American academia”, said Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, in a speech on Wednesday.
“We are blocking visas for certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China’s military fusion strategy to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research.
Some Chinese students enrolled in US universities said they received emailed notices on Wednesday from the US embassy in Beijing or US consulates in China informing them their visas had been cancelled.