Embassy lodges solemn representation to the US over the latter’s unwarranted interrogation and harassment of Chinese students at border port
Published: Jan 29, 2024 10:53 AM
Chinese Embassy in the US

Chinese Embassy in the US

Several Chinese students studying abroad were subjected to unwarranted interrogations and harassment upon their arrival at Washington Dulles International Airport. Their visas were subsequently revoked and they were deported back to China, according to the Chinese Embassy in the US. China has lodged solemn representation to the US in regard of this matter.

The embassy said on Monday that those students involved all hold valid documents and are returning to the US after vacationing in their home country, traveling to a third country, attending a conference, or arriving for their first semester. During their stay, they have been subjected to prolonged questioning, in addition to their electronic devices being inspected. Moreover, some even had their personal freedom restricted for more than 10 hours and are prohibited from contacting the outside.

The Chinese Embassy in the US attaches great importance to safeguarding the welfare of Chinese students studying abroad and has lodged a solemn representation with the US side regarding this matter. 

The US has frequently subjected Chinese students to unwarranted interrogation and even deportation, which seriously undermines the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and runs counter to the consensus reached between the Chinese and US heads of state during their meeting in San Francisco on promoting people-to-people exchanges. 

We strongly urge the US side to end these unfair practices, cease unwarranted harassment, interrogations, and deportations of Chinese students, and effectively implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state to support China-US people-to-people exchanges and encourage the expansion of the scale of Chinese students studying in the US.

Xie Feng, Chinese ambassador to the US said at a ceremony on Sunday that the chilling effect of US "China Initiative" has not yet been eliminated. Harassment of Chinese students is absolutely unacceptable. China has expressed its strong opposition to the US and will continue to firmly defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens. 

Xie stated that the vitality of ideas comes from mutual learning, and scientific development cannot be achieved without communication. Politicizing and instrumentalizing educational exchanges and cooperation not only obstructs the path of international students and alters those students' life plans, but also leads to a brain drain of top talent in the US and harms its own research environment and innovative vitality. If normal personnel exchanges are arbitrarily severed, how can the relationship between two countries be maintained and developed?

The embassy also reminded students planning to study in the US to carefully consider their choice of entering the country through Washington Dulles International Airport, and to raise awareness of security when entering the US. If stopped by US border law enforcement officers, remain calm, and handle the situation properly. If treated unfairly, keep necessary evidence and file a complaint to relevant authorities.

Earlier this month, the Global Times has learned that multiple Chinese international students were subjected to extended interrogations upon entering the US, and had their personal electronic devices such as phones and laptops inspected. Some of these students had their visas revoked and were informed that they cannot enter the US for the next five years.