The Trump administration will set limits on Chinese visa applications to help protect American intellectual property, a State Department official said Tuesday, in the latest sign of continued trade tensions with Beijing.
The measures would in some cases cut short the amount of time that a Chinese citizen could stay in the U.S. and would be decided on a case-by-case basis, according to the official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the changes before they were announced. Now, visas issued to Chinese applicants who wish to study or work in the U.S. are typically for the maximum time allowed.
The measures would take effect June 11, the State Department official said, adding that the maximum validity for Chinese student visas would remain the same, five years, but that consular officials have the authority to put an earlier expiration date on some visas.
A White House official, who asked for anonymity to discuss administration policy, said the measures were part of a U.S. national security strategy to prevent American intellectual property from being obtained by foreign competitors. The official said that reducing the time some visas were valid would help secure intellectual property.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.
The limitations, which were reported earlier Tuesday by The Associated Press, emerged as President Donald Trump announced that he was going forward with plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and curb investment in sensitive technology, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing days before the next round of trade negotiations.
The White House also said Tuesday that the U.S. planned to continue litigation at the World Trade Organization over China’s intellectual-property practices. U.S. officials have long accused China of stealing American intellectual property.
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