Chinese FM accuses US of politicizing academic research, damaging people-to-people exchanges
Published: Jan 31, 2024 08:56 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

China has made solemn démarches to the US, and accuses it politicizing and weaponizing academic research, and overstretching the concept of national security to wantonly suppress and ill-treat Chinese students. Such moves undermine Chinese citizens' lawful rights and interests and basic human rights, cause the chilling effect and sour the atmosphere for China-US people-to-people exchanges, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday, in response to the revelation that some Chinese students had experienced unwarranted harassment and even deportation at the US border.

Some Chinese students with valid visas to enter the US were subjected to unwarranted interrogation and harassment, and some were deported at Washington Dulles International Airport, according to media reports.

Chinese individuals, including students, have been denied entry into the US in recent months, despite having valid visas, clean records and legitimate reasons for their travel. Upon arrival at the airport in the US, they faced lengthy interrogations, restrictions on contacting their parents, baseless accusations, and even were forcibly repatriated and subject to entry bans, which is absolutely unacceptable, said Chinese Ambassador to the US Xie Feng at an event celebrating the 45th anniversary of China-US student exchanges and the Spring Festival gala for Chinese and American youths on Sunday.

For some time now, the US has frequently harassed, interrogated and deported Chinese students arriving in the US out of political purposes. Available information shows that at the Washington Dulles International Airport alone, at least eight Chinese students with lawful and valid travel permits were harassed, interrogated and deported by the US side for groundless reasons since the end of November, 2023, Wang said.

The moves by the US law enforcement authorities seriously violate the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of the students concerned, disrupt China-US cultural exchanges and cross-border travel, and go against the common understanding between the two Presidents on enhancing and facilitating cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the spokesperson noted. 

In recent cases, the US law enforcement personnel unabashedly induced and infiltrated the victims, which poses direct threat to China's national security. The moves by the US driven by ideological bias with no respect for truth or rationality are discriminatory and politically motivated law enforcement and will eventually undermine the US's own image, Wang said. 

China urges the US to act on the statement made by its President Joe Biden and the common understandings reached by the two Presidents in San Francisco, immediately stop suppressing and restricting Chinese students travelling to the US under the so-called national security reasons, earnestly protect the security and lawful rights and interests of Chinese students and scholars in the US, and remove barriers for China-US exchanges and cross-border travel.

China will take resolute measures to safeguard its national security and the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens, Wang added. 

Global Times