Trump administration considering barring Chinese students, researchers from entering US

More US actions aimed at countering Chinese espionage coming soon: Secretary of State Pompeo

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Trump administration is considering restricting all Chinese students and researchers from entering American universities to prevent espionage, according to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

During an interview with Washington-based radio show WMAL on Monday (Aug. 31), Pompeo revealed that the American government is mulling a stricter policy for Chinese students and academics to safeguard the country's national security. He said more actions against Beijing will likely be announced in the coming weeks and months.

When asked if it would be "quicker" to just restrict all Chinese students from coming to the U.S., Pompeo pointed out that not all Chinese students are working for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) but that it is an option the government is evaluating. He emphasized that the Trump administration is not targeting Chinese nationals but rather the authoritarian regime itself.

In regard to the two Chinese researchers who were arrested Friday (Aug. 28) for allegedly committing intellectual property theft while working at the University of Virginia and UCLA, Pompeo said they are just a few examples of Beijing's efforts to infiltrate American university systems. He accused the CCP of having stolen intellectual property countless times through cyberattacks and spying, which he said has resulted in tens of thousands of American jobs being lost.

In addition, Pompeo expressed regret that neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had taken strong measures against China until the current administration. He emphasized that Chinese espionage is not something to be taken lightly or be viewed as a partisan issue, reported CNA.

On May 29, the U.S. issued a ban on Chinese graduate students and visiting researchers with ties to the People's Liberation Army (PLA). However, experts have expressed concerns over the effectiveness of the policy, as military links are often concealed and not easily identified.