President Trump has pledged to crack down on China, and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced that the DHS will begin denying visas to some researchers and graduate students from China in service of this goal.
The Trump administration has decided to take this step in order to prevent espionage and theft of critical research that has run rampant in American universities.
Cracking down on China
Wolf explained that China is “launching new aggressive tactics” to undermine the US, including stealing coronavirus and defense research using the US’s visa program.
“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,” Wolf announced his 2020 State of the Homeland speech on Wednesday.
Other steps Wolf said the Trump administration is taking to crack down on China include “preventing goods produced from slave labor from entering our markets,” and requiring “that China respect the inherent dignity of each human being.”
These statements are an apparent reference to numerous reports that the Chinese government has been abusing the human rights of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
Donald Trump issued a proclamation in May that directed the DHS to crack down on the Chinese government’s exploitation of the US’s visa program, saying:
For years, the government of China has conducted illicit espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many. Today, I will issue a proclamation to better secure our nation’s vital university research and to suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as potential security risks.
According to the Epoch Times, the Trump administration has already revoked 1,000 visas of Chinese nationals due to alleged links with the Chinese military.
“We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party’s goals of military dominance,” a State Department spokesperson confirmed.
“As of September 8, 2020, the Department has revoked more than 1,000 visas of PRC nationals who were found to be subject to Presidential Proclamation 10043 and therefore ineligible for a visa. We do not discuss individual cases that are subject to these restrictions. Visa records are confidential under U.S. law,” the spokesperson added.
Reuters reported that “some 360,000 Chinese nationals study in the United States,” and are a major source of revenue to American universities.
However, as China grows more hostile to many US allies and the US itself, Donald Trump has made it clear that he will no longer allow the communist nation to conduct its business unchecked in the US any longer.