- The US has revoked student visas for over 1 000 Chinese citizens who it is said are linked to the military in their country
- As they face accusations of espionage, the Department of Homeland Security said that the withdrawal of the visas was to prevent theft
- Some of the students affected said that they got emails from the US consulate informing them of the development
The United States of America has cancelled the visas of over 1 000 Chinese students and researchers, saying that they had ties with the Chinese military as it tagged some of them "spies".
The acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, said China has been grossly misusing student visa as a way to exploit the American academia, Guardian reports.
Briefly.co.za learnt that Wolf went further to say that the cancellation was a “to prevent them from stealing and otherwise appropriating sensitive research”.
This development came several months after President Donald Trump said that Chinese citizens who work with the military, the People’s Liberation Army, would be denied entry into the US.
On Wednesday, September 9, the homeland said that the visas were revoked under what it called its “broad authority” since following the president’s order on Monday, June 1.
Though the spokeswoman for the department would not give more details about the revocation, she said that the students and researchers affected are just a fraction of the Chinese students coming to the US to study.
It should, however, be noted that Chinese students are the largest group in the US as about 370 000 enrolled between 2018 and 2019.
Some of the affected students told the same media that they got emails from the US embassy in Beijing informing them that their visas were no longer valid. They reacted to the news by talking about it on WeChat, China's largest chatting app.
James Palmer, an author, said that the students were filling their details in an online spreadsheet, adding that it is a common thing in China for people to graduate from schools like Jiangxi Military Studies University with a degree in a course like English literature.
Meanwhile, it was earlier reported that the US accused China-linked hackers of targeting organisations that are researching the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said it had seen hacking attempts on US groups researching vaccines, treatments and testing, which are traced to China.
It was gathered that the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a joint warning on Wednesday, May 13, over the development.
In other news, Nweje MaryJane Ijeoma, a doctor, was given a scholarship at the University of Oxford. She said that she was given the choice to choose from three fully-funded scholarships.
The Nigerian woman later picked masters in International Health and Tropical Medicine. Doctor Nweje added that she is really excited about what this year will bring.
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