More Chinese Researchers Denied Entry to US as Tech War Intensifies

More than 10 Chinese nationals have been denied entry since November 2023.

More Chinese researchers, especially in the medical field, have been refused entry to the United States despite holding valid visas as Washington intensifies its attempts to push back against a decade of spying and IP theft driven by China’s ruling communist party (CCP) in Beijing.

Observers have pointed out that these recent cases reflect the intensity that the U.S.-China tech war has reached.

It is reported by the international media that an increasing number of researchers and graduate students who are Chinese nationals working in American universities have said that upon returning from China, they have been interrogated at U.S. Customs, searched, and detained for many hours. In recent months, more medical researchers have said that they have been interrogated, with some being refused entry and deported.

Their research at American universities and research institutions have also been affected.

According to a report by the American academic journal “Science” on March 1, in the previous three months, more than a dozen Chinese nationals who are science Ph.D. students at Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, and other major U.S. research universities have been denied re-entry to the United States after visiting family in China. They were immediately deported. Some have been banned from reentering the United States for five years.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matt Miller said the number impacted is less than “one tenth of 1 percent” of Chinese students who have been denied entry or deported.

A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that “all international travelers attempting to enter the United States, including all U.S. citizens, are subject to examination.” American and western researchers have also been found guilty of stealing on behalf of the CCP for profit.

In recent years, the FBI has discovered that many cases of technology theft involved Chinese nationals working at U.S. research institutions or tech companies. While working in the United States, they collected payment from the CCP to send information about cutting-edge U.S. technology back to China.

It’s been reported that more than 10 Chinese nationals have been denied entry since November 2023.

The increased vigilance against IP theft by the CCP targeting foreign researchers is linked to a 2020 Trump administration rule that banned graduate students with ties to the Chinese regime’s “military-civil fusion strategy,” which adopts civilian infrastructure and technology to support military development.

A researcher works in a Chinese biopharma lab in Shenyang, in China's northeast Liaoning Province, on June 10, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)
A researcher works in a Chinese biopharma lab in Shenyang, in China’s northeast Liaoning Province, on June 10, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

Chung Chih-tung, an assistant research fellow at the Taiwan’s Institute for National Defense and Security Research, told The Epoch Times on April 29, “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) obtains key technologies legally or illegally through scientific and technological exchanges in academic and civilian fields with other countries, and uses them to develop its economy and military industry.

“The United States says that currently only ‘one tenth of 1 percent’ have been rejected, but this percentage will get higher and higher.”

Mr. Chung pointed out, “The United States and Western countries strictly scrutinize the academic exchanges with China to prevent the theft of cutting-edge technology. This is the inevitable result of the U.S.-China technological war, and it also reflects the increase in hostile competition between the United States and China.”

Ye Ning, a Chinese-American lawyer, told The Epoch Times on April 30, “Now the United States is paying more attention to it [threats from the CCP]. It has begun to tighten all aspects of national security policies and law enforcement.”

“These Chinese people should be the focus, as medical scientific research under the CCP’s rule has involved too many things that are against humanity, such as the medical research on harvesting human organs from living people and the creation of viruses. So, it is absolutely necessary to treat these people as key screening targets and to monitor them closely.”

Luo Ya contributed to this report.


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