China says the U.S. move to revoke the visas of about 1,000 Chinese students amounts to outright political persecution and racial discrimination
BEIJING — U.S. move to revoke the visas of about 1,000 Chinese students amounts to “outright political persecution and racial discrimination,” China’s foreign ministry said Thursday.
The statement from spokesperson Zhao Lijian came a day after Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said his department was blocking visas for “certain Chinese graduate students and researchers with ties to China’s military fusion strategy to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research.”
China was “abusing student visas to exploit American academia,” Wolf said, offering a long list of alleged Chinese bad behavior but few details.
A State Department spokesperson later put the number of visas to be revoked at 1,000.
The U.S. has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers for national security reasons, drawing protests and a threat of possible retaliation from Beijing.
The visas were revoked under a measure intended to keep Chinese graduate students and researchers from stealing “technologies, intellectual property and information to develop advanced military capabilities,” a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy said Thursday in a statement. Those affected “represent a small subset” of visiting students and scholars, the Embassy said, adding that the U.S. continued to welcome “legitimate” students and researchers.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the U.S. action as “blatant political persecution and racist discrimination,” saying the move infringed on the students’ legitimate rights. “China reserves the right to take further