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US revokes visas of 1,000+ Chinese nationals over Chinese military ties

The headquarters of the U.S. State Department at the Harry S. Truman Building. (Author AgnosticPreachersKid, Wikimedia Commons/Released)
September 10, 2020

The U.S. State Department revoked more than 1,000 visas of Chinese nationals after a May 29 order by President Donald Trump to block Chinese nationals with ties to China’s military from entering the U.S.

The State Department began implementing Trump’s presidential proclamation on Monday, June 1, three days after it was announced. A State Department spokeswoman described the actions to restrict visas in a statement reported by Reuters.

“As of September 8, 2020, the Department has revoked more than 1,000 visas of [People’s Republic of China] nationals who were found to be subject to Presidential Proclamation 10043 and therefore ineligible for a visa,” the State Department spokeswoman told Reuters. The spokeswoman did not provide specifics of the “ineligible” criteria of those whose visas were revoked.

Dozens more Chinese students enrolled in U.S. universities reportedly received emails from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and U.S. consulates in China notifying them that their visas had been canceled.

An estimated 360,000 Chinese nationals attend U.S. schools, generating an estimated $14 billion in economic activity from tuition and other associated fees. According to Reuters, U.S. officials have said the new visa actions affect only a small portion of those Chinese students.

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The State Department spokeswoman said, “We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party’s goals of military dominance.”

Trump’s proclamation describes a “military-civil fusion strategy” describing efforts of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to acquire foreign technologies to advance its own military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The proclamation states anyone “who either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy'” will be barred from entry into the U.S.

The proclamation makes exceptions for lawful permanent residents of the U.S., spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, non-citizens serving in the U.S. armed forces, and those not serving in a field that could be of interest to the PRC “military-civil fusion strategy.” The proclamation also provides an exemption for U.N. accredited diplomats and members of the press traveling within the U.S. and adds a carve-out for the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees to exempts otherwise banned travelers whose entry would serve the national interest.