• Thursday, Jun 27, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:22 am

US lawmakers want to tighten visas for Chinese students, researchers

  • Published at 11:05 am May 15th, 2019
US China
File photo: Chinese and US flags are set up for a meeting during a visit by US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018 Reuters

The bill was introduced as United States and China have escalated a trade war

A group of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress introduced legislation on Tuesday intended to prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military from receiving student or research visas to the United States.

The bill would require the US government to create a list of scientific and engineering institutions affiliated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by those institutions from receiving the visas.

The bill was introduced as the United States and China have escalated a trade war following difficult negotiations last week.

It also comes as some US officials have expressed concern about the possibility of the theft of intellectual property or even espionage by Chinese nationals at US universities and other institutions.

Many US and university officials also warn about overreacting, however, arguing it is important to acknowledge the important role Chinese scholars and students play at US institutions while being aware of security risks.

The bill was sponsored by Republicans Senators Chuck Grassley, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn and Josh Hawley. A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Mike Gallagher.