US loses if restrictions imposed on Chinese researchers

By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/2 23:18:40

Why is the US a key destination for researchers from around the globe? Its openness to personnel exchanges and an advanced environment for scientific research might be the answer. However, the White House is reportedly mulling plans to curtail Chinese scientists' involvement in sensitive research at US universities and research institutes over fears of espionage. This is never the way a powerhouse is supposed to act. The US is witnessing changes: It isn't growing stronger, but instead is descending into conservatism and narrow-mindedness.

A melting pot immigrant culture is what made America great. The idea that people of diverse nationality could participate in cutting-edge US technological research played a critical role in the US becoming a world superpower.

For instance, research on parity non-conservation of weak interaction by Chinese physicist Chen-Ning Yang and his colleague Tsung-Dao Lee during their time in the US was of profound significance to US scientific development, and won them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957.

The advanced US hardware facilities and its inclusive scientific atmosphere, Yang's and Lee's hard work and expertise: All are indispensable for such an extraordinary scientific achievement.

Human talent is the fundamental basis for a country's strength and development. But now the White House is considering blocking Chinese citizens from US labs.

To target a group of people, based purely on national origin, goes against the fundamental American principles of equality and openness.

Despite US President Donald Trump's intentions of protecting American technology, sacrificing collaboration in high technology suggests that US national strength is in decline.

Moreover, the potential curbs mean Chinese students at graduate programs in the US in aerospace, artificial intelligence, software and other sciences may flow to other countries, taking their skills with them. This is undeniably a loss for the US. Roughly one-third of foreign students studying in the US come from China each year, according to media reports.

In sharp contrast to the US, China has become much more open in attracting foreign employees. Foreign students with a postgraduate degree or higher can be offered employment within a year after graduation, according to an official circular released in January.

In the 21st century, the US can learn from China and give up its Cold War mentality, a prerequisite to its sustainable development.

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