A group of Republican lawmakers in the United States on Tuesday introduced legislation intended to prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by the Chinese military from receiving student or research visas to the US, Reuters reports.
The bill will require the US government to create a list of scientific and engineering institutions affiliated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and prohibit anyone employed or sponsored by those institutions from receiving the visas, the report said.
The bill was introduced as the US and China have escalated a trade war following difficult negotiations last week.
It also comes as some American officials have expressed concern about the possibility of the theft of intellectual property or even espionage by Chinese nationals at US universities and other institutions.
The bill was sponsored by Republicans Senators Chuck Grassley, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn and Josh Hawley.
A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Mike Gallagher.
Many university officials warn about overreacting, arguing that it is important to acknowledge the important role Chinese scholars and students play at US institutions.
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