China moves to stop citizens studying in US as trade war continues

Education ministry suggests students carry out risk assessments before studying abroad

Zamira Rahim
Monday 03 June 2019 11:05 BST
Students walking along the University of California's campus
Students walking along the University of California's campus (Getty iStock)

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China has issued a warning to students about the risks involved in studying in the US as a bitter trade war escalates between the two nations.

State television in the country has encouraged students to carry out risk assessments before relocating, saying that some citizens have struggled after the US limited the duration of their visas.

China’s media also highlighted an increase in US visa application rejections.

“This has affected Chinese students going to study in the United States or smoothly completing their studies,” state television said, citing the country’s Ministry of Education.

“The education ministry reminds students and academics of the need to strengthen risk assessment before studying abroad, enhance prevention awareness, and make corresponding preparations.”

“This warning is a response to recent series of discriminatory measures the US took against Chinese students and can also be seen as a response to the US-initiated trade war,” said Hu Xijin, editor of the widely read Chinese newspaper The Global Times.

In 2018 the White House imposed restrictions on some Chinese graduate students, so that those working in robotics, aviation, and other high-tech manufacturing fields could only be granted a one-year visa.

The policy is a reported attempt to curtail alleged theft of US intellectual property.

Around 360,000 Chinese students study in the US, generating $14bn (£11bn) in economic activity each year.

It is not the first time Beijing has moved to discourage its citizens from entering the US. In 2018, China’s Washington DC embassy issued a travel advisory for citizens travelling to the nation, warning tourists to be aware of the threat of public shootings, of searches by customs agents and expensive medical bills.

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Beijing and Washington are currently locked in a bitter trade war, which has worsened in recent months after the Trump administration reneged on promises it made in trade negotiations.

The US then raised tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods, prompting China to raise tariffs on $60bn of American goods in response.

The countries have also clashed over Beijing’s ambitions to gain control in the South China Sea.

Additional reporting by agencies

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