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US should not politicize educational and scientific exchanges and cooperation

By Wu Yuehe (People's Daily)    09:39, June 05, 2019

China’s Ministry of Education issued an official warning on Monday for Chinese students seeking to study in the US. It reflected the increasingly complicated situation of the educational exchanges and cooperation amid heightened tensions between the two countries.

In an alert, the ministry says that the visa applications of some Chinese hoping to study in the US have recently been restricted, with an extended review process, shortened validity period, and an increased rejection rate, which has affected their plans to study in the US or the completion of their studies there.

At the same time, the Ministry of Education urged Chinese students and scholars to increase risk assessment and preparations accordingly.

It is nothing new for some US politicians to make self-righteous statements on trade deficit, but why do they fire at the Chinese students and scholars?

It is beneath contempt for the US Congress and Federal Government to politicize China-US educational exchanges and cooperation with the accusation of “China Threat” and “Chinese infiltration”.

Apart from smearing Confucius Institute as China’s tool to expand political influence and spread values, they also falsely accused Chinese students and scholars of conducting “non-traditional espionage” activities in the US and harassed them out of no reason.

What does “non-traditional espionage” mean? The head of US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently made ridiculous remarks that China had made “a whole of state effort”. “It is economic espionage as well as traditional espionage: it is nontraditional intelligence operatives; it’s human sources as well as cyber means,” the FBI chief said.

Besides, he also defined that “China in many ways represent the broadest, most challenging, most significant threats we face as a country”.

The US has designed for itself a “long-term game” to prevent China’s “long-term threat” “from agriculture to high-tech” and “from research and development to academia”.

Perhaps their beloved Hollywood spy movies have inspired them to fabricate absurd plots and made them suspect everyone. They even see Chinese students and scholars with a mentality of presumption of guilt. But under such circumstance, is there a place for justice?!

As an old Chinese saying goes, the stupid would always make the simple world complicated. It seemed that some US politicians are determined to make troubles and stir the world.

Official statistics showed that in 2018, 331, or 3.2 percent of the 10,313 students who applied to study in the US on Chinese government scholarships had their trips cancelled due to visa issues.

In the first three months of 2019, the ratio soared to 13.5 percent. 182 out of 1,353 students faced the same problem.

Since 2018, the US side has also revoked or re-examined visas of Chinese citizens visiting the country on the pretext of counterespionage. Besides, the fire has spread from the natural sciences to social sciences that the US recently cancelled the 10-year multiple-entry visa for a group of Chinese scholars studying China-US relations.

Do Chinese students and scholars really pose security threats to the US? The answer is definitely negative, which Americans are quite clear about.

It is seen by all that China attaches great importance to opening up education and has been strengthening educational exchanges with all countries including the US based on common will and mutual respect.

Through exchanging, mutual learning and co-innovation with young people from all friendly countries, the confident and open-minded Chinese students have contributed to the development of human civilization and science.

However, those who prevent Chinese students and scholars from studying in the US fear that they would be surpassed by the Chinese who acquire advanced technologies. What a narrow mind!

Exchanging and mutual learning of new technologies promote common progress in this world where technologies are evolving in a rapid manner. Therefore, those who are trying to slow China’s 5G technology development will only find their attempts in vain as China has already in a leading position.

The warning of the Ministry of Education for Chinese students and scholars was forced by the US who has continued setting barriers between the two countries. Such moves of the US have not only offended the dignity of Chinese students in the US, but also seriously hurt the sentiment of the Chinese people.

Educational exchanges and cooperation have always been a significant part of China-US relations, and China maintains the biggest source of overseas students studying in the US. In 2017 alone, the US had earned nearly $13.9 billion from Chinese students.

The US education industry will be hit if the number of Chinese students drops dramatically, and the US academia is deeply upset about this. Multiple US top-rank universities including Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and Rice University have expressed support for international students and scholars including those from China.

Karl Marx said that “Science must not be a selfish pleasure. Those who have the good fortune to be able to devote themselves to scientific pursuits should be the first to place their knowledge at the service of humanity.” What he champions should be upheld by all.

It is a general trend to promote the flow of knowledge and technology in the era of economic globalization. Progress could be only achieved through exchanges and mutual learning, while the petty actions of some US politicians that are against the people’s will only be despised. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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