Vietnam Time

6/3/2019 10:42:02 PM

China warns students, academics about risks of studying in the US

China warned students and academics on Jun 3 about the risks of studying in the United States, citing an uptick in visa denials and delays, amid a trade war between the two countries.


File photo of Chinese students graduating. (Photo: AFP)

State television, citing China's Ministry of Education, said that some students seeking to study in the US had encountered problems with the duration of their visas being limited and an increase in visa refusals.

"This has affected Chinese students going to study in the United States or smoothly completing their studies," the state television added.

"The education ministry reminds students and academics of the need to strengthen risk assessment before studying abroad, enhance prevention awareness, and make corresponding preparations."

China is the biggest source of international students on US campuses, with 360,000 of them last year, or a third of the foreign student body. Many pay full tuition fees.

Chinese students contributed US$14 billion to the US economy in 2017, the official Xinhua news agency estimated last month, citing US official data.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Monday said the US had been setting "unnecessary obstacles" to people-to-people exchanges between both countries.

"This has been widely opposed by the education circles in China and the United States, as well as by (Chinese) students studying abroad (in the US)," he said.

Last year, China's embassy in Washington issued a security advisory to Chinese nationals travelling to the US, warning tourists to be aware of issues including expensive medical bills, the threat of public shootings and robberies, and searches and seizures by customs agents.


US complaints about technology and intellectual property theft by China have been a major bone of contention in the trade war between the two countries.

FBI director Christopher Wray said in April that Beijing had used Chinese graduate students and researchers, among others, in its economic espionage efforts in the United States.

"China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation in any way it can from a wide array of businesses, universities and organisations," Wray said.

"They're doing it through Chinese intelligence services, through state-owned enterprises, through ostensibly private companies, through graduate students and researchers, through a variety of actors all working on behalf of China."

A group of US President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress introduced legislation last month intended to prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military from receiving student or research visas to the US.

The bill would require the US government to create a list of scientific and engineering institutions affiliated with China's People Liberation Army, and prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by those institutions from receiving visas.

Many US and university officials also warn about over-reacting, arguing that it is important to acknowledge the important role Chinese scholars and students play at US institutions while being aware of security risks./.

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