This week, a Republican congressman warned that “China is using our own technology against us.” What’s more, he has put forward a plan to stop it.
Chinese students and academic have been caught stealing military technology
“While these types of foreign espionage campaigns have been happening for decades, the stakes with China are now simply too high for inaction,” Katko states.
“In 2020, a Chinese professor at the University of California, Los Angeles was convicted of shipping banned missile technology back to China,” the congressman explained.
“A Chinese student at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology was charged last year with helping to recruit spies for the Chinese intelligence services.”
And a Chinese professor conducting sensitive research at the University of Kansas was indicted in August 2020 on charges that he concealed his ties to a Chinese university,” Katko notes.
As far Katko is concerned, a major part of the problem lies in the way that the United States issues visas to students and academics despite them being citizens of a hostile power.
“The CCP is clearly aiming to exploit our visa system and use it not only to their benefit, but also to our detriment,” the law maker complained.
Congressman says that visa system for Chinese nationals must be overhauled
Katko suggests that this problem can be mitigated by at least shortening the time period during which Chinese nationals can be admitted to the country.
“The current 10-year visas are ripe for abuse, and a more reasonable time frame would allow for greater visibility into who is entering the country and why,” he argues. Another recommendation is to implement the Electronic Visa Update System.
“Enrollment in this web-based system, which is already required for those on tourism and business visas, would give us a better understanding of who is in our country, what they are studying, and where they are conducting research,” Katko writes.
He concludes by insisting that a number of steps will be needed in order to counter the Chinese threat, with “[e]nsuring our sensitive information is not being transmitted to the CCP under the guise of academic advancement” being an important one.