Beijing - China urges the U.S. to immediately stop suppressing and restricting Chinese students traveling to the U.S. under the so-called national security reasons, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a regular news briefing when asked to comment on reports that Chinese students experienced unwarranted interrogation, harassment, deportation at U.S. border.
It's reported that Chinese students were again interrogated when entering the U.S. border at the Washington Dulles International Airport. U.S. law enforcement personnel repeatedly asked questions concerning the students' political background and academic research, and asked them to provide internal information of the Chinese government in order to get released. After being refused, the U.S. law enforcement agencies decided to cancel their visas, ban them from entering the U.S. and forcibly deport the students.
Wang said the U.S. has frequently harassed, interrogated and deported Chinese students arriving in the U.S. out of political purposes for some time now. 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 U.S. side for groundless reasons since the end of November 2023.
He said the moves by the U.S. law enforcement authorities seriously violate the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of the students concerned, disrupt China-U.S. 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, and China has made solemn démarches to the U.S.
The U.S. likes to portray itself as open, inclusive and a place advocating academic freedom and "no border in science", but it politicizes and weaponizes academic research, and overstretches the concept of national security to wantonly suppress and ill-treat Chinese students, Wang said, adding that such moves undermine Chinese citizens' lawful rights and interests and basic human rights, cause the chilling effect and sour the atmosphere for China-U.S. people-to-people exchanges.
Wang said in recent cases, the U.S. law enforcement personnel unabashedly induced and infiltrated the victims, which poses direct threat to China's national security. The moves by the U.S. driven by ideological bias with no respect for truth or rationality are discriminatory and politically motivated law enforcement and will eventually undermine the U.S.'s own image.
China urges the U.S. to act on the statement made by President Biden and the common understandings reached by the two Presidents in San Francisco, immediately stop suppressing and restricting Chinese students travelling to the U.S. under the so-called national security reasons, earnestly protect the security and lawful rights and interests of Chinese students and scholars in the U.S., and remove barriers for China-U.S. exchanges and cross-border travel, said Wang.
The spokesperson said China will take resolute measures to safeguard its national security and the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
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