The English-language China Daily, owned by the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department, on July 7 reported that more than 500 Chinese students who had received offers to pursue postgraduate studies in subjects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) had been refused study visas for the US.
Beijing had made “solemn representations” to Washington regarding the matter, it said.
The majority of the students were aspiring majors in electrical engineering, computing, mechanics, chemistry, materials science, biomedical science and other STEM subjects. The schools they were intending to study at included elite institutions such as Harvard University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The US rejected their visa applicants on the grounds of the US’ Proclamation 10043: Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers From the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which was signed by former US president Donald Trump on May 29 last year and came into effect the following month. The proclamation bars Chinese from studying or conducting research “at or on behalf of ... an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy.’”
The ban mostly applies to Chinese who have graduated from specific universities or colleges, such as academic institutions affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, known colloquially as the “national defense seven” grouping of colleges.
US officials have repeatedly criticized China for stealing sensitive US technology and conducting economic intelligence through its “military-civil fusion strategy.”
Officials have also said that Chinese spies posing as students and researchers present a security threat to the US.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) wrote on the ministry’s official Twitter account: “Over 500 Chinese #students’ visa applications were denied by the US. Is this what the #US called freedom and openness?”
Judging by Hua’s Twitter activity, she has clearly been tasked with attacking the US, its society and model of governance, and the tweet on the visa issue was comical.
It is reminiscent of an incident several years ago involving a then-student in Peking University’s Chinese language and literature departement called Ma Nan (馬楠).
Ma, who had been selected as a student representative, angrily upbraided then-US president Bill Clinton over the “abominable US human rights situation” during his visit to the university in 1998.
Ma’s fiery denunciation put Clinton on the spot and created an embarrassing situation.
Two years later, Ma chose to further her education in the US, despite the supposedly abominable human rights situation, and then went on to marry an American.
In all fairness, while a minority of the more than 500 students whose visas were rejected might indeed be Chinese spies, the majority would behave like Ma and simply aspire to further their studies in the US: They must criticize the US to protect themselves, or to mask that at the bottom of their hearts, they aspire to a life in the US.
This is the sad truth of living under a totalitarian regime.
Yu Kung is a Taiwanese businessman working in China.
Translated by Edward Jones
As the incursions by China into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone intensify, the international community’s anxiety has risen over the question of whether the US military would become directly involved in the case of an attack on Taiwan. Washington’s long-held policy of “strategic ambiguity” does little to ease the trepidation. The rationale universally espoused on “strategic ambiguity” is that an announced commitment from Washington to directly defend Taiwan would encourage Taiwanese independence and consequently bring forth a Chinese military attack and a possible nuclear confrontation between two superpowers. However, this line of argument could soon lose steam if the subject is viewed from
Having deceived the world about its nuclear capabilities while preparing for an arms race, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now using its increasing nuclear forces for virtual nuclear coercion. This new threat will continue until the United States, Japan, and Taiwan can restore the CCP’s sense of fear. This dynamic is a familiar one for Taiwan. As the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) capabilities have grown, its inhibitions about conducting larger and more frequent coercive military demonstrations have shrunk. The PLA now more openly practices for the destruction of Taiwan’s democracy and the murder of its citizens. In the nuclear realm,
In an unprecedented move, a group of democratic nations led by the US, UK and EU in a joint statement on Tuesday accused the Chinese Ministry of State Security of having carried out a major cyberattack earlier this year and stealing data from at least 30,000 organizations worldwide, including governments, universities and firms in key industries. Western officials were reportedly perplexed by the attack’s brazen execution and unparalleled scale. In an article on the attack, BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera wrote: “Western spies are still struggling to understand why Chinese behavior has changed.” The attack raises the fear “that they [China]
At the conclusion of the G7 Leaders’ Summit on June 13, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who participated virtually, called for the reform of multilateral institutions as the best signal of commitment to the cause of open societies. His comments are significant in light of China’s ongoing and successful efforts to control international organizations, and, in particular, to keep Taiwan out of critical health agencies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s influence over the WHO is well known. It has used this control to deny Taiwan a place at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decisionmaking body of the WHO. Taiwan’s absence