Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, said that Donald Trump is considering increasing restrictions placed on Chinese students in the United States. This statement follows a Texas university suspending its Chinese government-funded scholarship program.
Chinese students at universities have been placed under increased scrutiny as relations between the US and China intensify. Growing concerns of intellectual property theft are at the forefront of minds within the US, leading to reactions such as those of the Trump administration earlier this week.
These reactions, however, leave much potential to target exchange students that pose no threat and could even encourage xenophobic behavior. The worry surrounding these possibilities only increases as the tensions between the US and China bleed into the academic sector.
While Pompeo did acknowledge that not all Chinese students pose a national threat, he did state that the risk is being taken seriously by the current administration. While threats to the nation must be handled with care, the United States prides itself on its foundations of democracy and liberty, which could be threatened by the actions being taken against students of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and heritage.
Other universities have also followed suit. The University of Northern Texas made it aware that it would no longer associate with researchers funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council as of last week. Many other groups may soon follow suit, begging the question of how far the tensions between the United States and China may reach.