China’s place in American higher education will likely be reduced in the coming months.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

New Restrictions for Chinese Students With Military University Ties

The Trump administration plans to cancel the visas of Chinese graduate students and researchers who have direct ties to universities in China affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army, a decision that will only affect a small percentage of the approximately 370,000 Chinese students studying in the U.S. The move was praised by some as a smart approach to mitigating the risk of theft of sensitive research and criticized by others as an overly blunt and likely ineffective measure that could open the door for further restrictions on Chinese students.

News of the administration’s plan was reported by The New York Times, which said at least 3,000 students would be affected. The Times noted that U.S. “officials acknowledged there was no direct evidence that pointed to wrongdoing by the students who are about to lose their visas. Instead, suspicions by American officials center on the Chinese universities at which the students trained as undergraduates.”

Administration officials did not provide a list of affected universities to The New York Times, and the State Department did not respond to a request from Inside Higher Ed seeking the list.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican of Florida who has been vocal in raising concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s links to American universities, praised the visa cancellations on Twitter.

“Good move to address #China using some students at our universities to steal research & advance military capabilities,” he said. “This must be addressed in a targeted way while rejecting xenophobia.”


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