The Chinese foreign ministry has urged the United States to stop harassing and suppressing Chinese students and visiting fellows to the US in order to create environment for bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperation in education.
Responding to China Review News during a media conference, the ministry’s spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that there have been frequent incidents of unwarranted harassment and suppression targeting students from China, Erudera.com reports.
“We urge the US side to stop such practices that harm others without benefiting itself and create a sound atmosphere and necessary conditions for China-US cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation. We will firmly safeguard the rights and interests of Chinese personnel pursuing studies in the United States,” Wenbin said.
He added that a visiting Chinese scholar, holder of a valid US visa was repatriated after being interviewed without any case upon the entry.
According to Wenbin, some of the reasons for repatriation “are simply inconceivable.” He said that photos of college military training in personal cellphones were sufficient to suspect for ties with military.
“Such interrogation and search went far beyond the “normal law enforcement” scope the US side claims,” he added.
Students and scholars have been asked whether their parents are members of the Communist Party of China or if the Chinese government has given them any tasks before leaving the country.
According to the spokesperson, these practices deviate from the beneficial and win-win relations between China and the United States as well as cultural exchanges.
Due to relations between China and the United States still being tense, Harvard University has decided to move its Chinese language program from Beijing to Taipei. Next year, the Harvard Beijing Academy is expected to move to the National Taiwan University in Taipei.
Back in 2020, the United States has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers, claiming that the latter posed a risk to national security. The decision had followed the presidential proclamation of Donald Trump issued on May 29.
The acting head of the US Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, had said that the visas of Chinese graduate students and researchers connected to China’s military were blocked in order to prevent them from stealing and appropriating the sensitive research.
Wenbin pointed out that incomplete data have shown that only in August 2021, some 30 Chinese students and visiting scholars to the United States have experienced harassment and suppression.