President Trump issued a proclamation Friday barring entry of Chinese graduate students and researchers affiliated with universities connected to the Chinese military.
The proclamation, which does not affect Chinese undergraduate students, bars entry for any Chinese national applying for F or J visas to study or conduct research in the U.S. “who either receives funding from or who currently is employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of, or has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] that implements or supports the PRC's ‘military-civil fusion strategy.’” The proclamation defines this strategy as “actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC's military capabilities.”
Earlier reports indicated that current students with ties to Chinese military-affiliated institutions would have their visas canceled. The proclamation does not go that far, but it does direct the secretary of state to review whether their visas should be revoked.
The proclamation does not list which universities or entities would be considered to have problematic links to the Chinese military for purposes of visa issuance. Experts have raised concerns about how broadly this could potentially be interpreted and how it will be perceived by Chinese students more broadly. Reports last week in The New York Times and Reuters indicated the plan would affect between 3,000 and 5,000 current students, a small fraction of the approximately 370,000 Chinese students in the U.S.