The United States has revoked visas for more than 1,000 Chinese nationals under a May 29 presidential proclamation to suspend entry from China of students and researchers deemed security risks.
The crackdown may also target Chinese academics who receive funding from their home nation to continue their studies overseas.
The U.S. State Department says Washington was 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.
In a speech, acting head of U.S. Homeland Security Chad Wolf repeated U.S. charges of unjust business practices and industrial espionage by China, including attempts to steal coronavirus research, and accused it of abusing student visas to exploit American academia.
Wolf said the United States was also “preventing goods produced from slave labour from entering our markets, demanding that China respect the inherent dignity of each human being,” an apparent reference to accusations of abuse of Muslims in western Xinjiang.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry described the U.S. move as “naked political persecution” which seriously violated human rights.
Compiled with additional reporting from International Business Times, Reuters and wire reports.