Editor’s Note: Lavender Au is China Note’s new lead writer, curating the week’s top news and expert analysis on China every Wednesday with WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm.
More than 1,000 Chinese students and scholars have had their visas to the United States revoked recently under a new Trump administration program that claims to target security risks and guard against espionage. The affected students largely hail from China’s seven major national defense colleges, which are directly subordinate to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, receive funding from the military and work on military projects. But to call these universities a direct pipeline to the Chinese military is an overstatement.
Nevertheless, the acting head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said his department was revoking the 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 response, China’s Foreign Ministry called the restrictions “outright political persecution and racial discrimination” that harmed the “legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students studying in the U.S.”