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Thu Nov 29, 2018, 10:11 AM

Fearing espionage, U.S. weighs tighter rules on Chinese students

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS NOVEMBER 29, 2018 / 7:07 AM / AN HOUR AGO

Exclusive: Fearing espionage, U.S. weighs tighter rules on Chinese students

Patricia Zengerle, Matt Spetalnick
7 MIN READ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is considering new background checks and other restrictions on Chinese students in the United States over growing espionage concerns, U.S. officials and congressional sources said.

In June, the U.S. State Department shortened the length of visas for Chinese graduate students studying aviation, robotics and advanced manufacturing to one year from five. U.S. officials said the goal was to curb the risk of spying and theft of intellectual property in areas vital to national security.

But now the Trump administration is weighing whether to subject Chinese students to additional vetting before they attend a U.S. school. The ideas under consideration, previously unreported, include checks of student phone records and scouring of personal accounts on Chinese and U.S. social media platforms for anything that might raise concerns about students’ intentions in the United States, including affiliations with government organizations, a U.S. official and three congressional and university sources told Reuters.

U.S. law enforcement is also expected to provide training to academic officials on how to detect spying and cyber theft that it provides to people in government, a senior U.S. official said.

“Every Chinese student who China sends here has to go through a party and government approval process,” one senior U.S. official told Reuters. “You may not be here for espionage purposes as traditionally defined, but no Chinese student who’s coming here is untethered from the state.”

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-students-exclusive/exclusive-fearing-espionage-u-s-weighs-tighter-rules-on-chinese-students-idUSKCN1NY1HE

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