U.S. lawmakers want to keep out Chinese students with military links

Republicans want the government to draw up a list of PLA-affiliated institutions

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Chinese students waiting for visa interviews outside the US embassy in Beijing.

Chinese students waiting for visa interviews outside the US embassy in Beijing. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Republican members of Congress have introduced a bill banning student or research visas for anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military, the Reuters news agency reported Tuesday (May 14).

The proposal was submitted amid a trade war between the United States and China, while concern has been growing over the communist country’s aggressive stance on disputed islands in the South China Sea and over its bullying of Taiwan.

The five Republican Senators and one member of Congress sponsoring the bill demanded the government draw up a list of academic institutions affiliated with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with the visa ban affecting their students and staff.

Some Trump Administration officials reportedly fear that students linked to the Chinese military might become involved in espionage and theft of sensitive information.

However, some universities cautioned against overreacting, emphasizing the important role of Chinese academics and researchers, Reuters reported.