Chinese Int’l Students Choose Europe Instead of US After Trump’s Proclamation Left Them With “No Hope” For a Year

Chinese students can apply for a study visa to the United States after a year of being unable to do so due to the COVID-19 traveling restrictions, among other reasons. The move comes after the US eases traveling restrictions for many countries, including China.

Meanwhile, US residents of Asian descent have faced many racial attacks, which resulted in fewer Chinese students picking the US as a study destination, reports.

According to Cao Di, a senior student at the University of International Business and Economics, numerous students have switched from American Universities to European or Japanese universities or have decided to work for a while. The Chinese students “with a military background” are reported to be subjected to stricter scrutiny and have lower chances of attaining a visa.

Furthermore, the Ph.D. student in aerospace research, Sinan, who has opted for a European degree, claimed he feels hopeless.

“I have given up on studying in the US. There would be no hope for me (to go to the US). My school and my major would both be too difficult to get a US visa,” Sinan said.

His school is among those institutions that have been affected by the US former President Donald Trump’s proclamation to block Chinese students that “implement or support China’s Military-Civil Fusion (MCF) strategy.”

According to Sinan, nearly 200 students with a similar situation caused by the proclamation have formed a chat group to discuss and share their concerns.

The professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, Li Haidong, said that the COVID-19 pandemic expansion and the attacks on Asians had affected Chinese students, forcing them to avoid the US as a study destination.

“Though there would still be a big number of Chinese students going to the US, there would be a drop in the number compared with that before the pandemic. Chinese students and their parents lack a sense of security about studying in the US,” Professor Haidong said.

On the other hand, the acting consul general at the US Embassy in China, William Bistransky, said during a press conference on April 30, the embassy will accelerate the visa processing for students once appointments are officially reopened.

Almost 390,000 total Chinese international student bodies chose the US as their country of studying, accounting for over 30 percent of the total of international students in the US. The Association of International Educators revealed that the economic revenue by international students in the US had experienced a decrease by $1.8 billion in the 2019-20 academic year from $40.5 billion in the previous year.

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