Trump Administration Restricts Chinese Students

Finally, America confronts a massive espionage operation.

On December 2, 2018 Voice Of America (VOA) published a news report, US Considers New Restrictions on Chinese Students.

This is certainly welcome news.  The actions of the Trump administration to restrict Chinese students studying in the United States has been long overdue given the outrageous conduct of the Chinese government in its massive spying program against the United States; which has been so pervasive that it has come to be sarcastically referred to by the American intelligence community as “Chinese Take-Out!”

Here is how the VOA article began:

The administration of American President Donald Trump is considering new restrictions on Chinese students entering the U.S.

U.S. officials say increased concerns over spying and the loss of new technologies are among the reasons.

In June, the U.S. State Department shortened the length of stay for visas given to Chinese graduate students studying in several fields. The fields include flight, robotics and some kinds of manufacturing. Visas were shortened from five years to one.

At the time, the officials said the goal was to limit the risk of spying and of the loss of intellectual property that is important to national security.

Now, the Trump administration is considering whether to carry out additional investigations of Chinese students attending U.S. schools.

Reuters news agency reported that officials want to examine student phone calls. They also are considering looking at students’ personal accounts on Chinese and U.S. social media sites.

Since taking office, President Trump has refused to follow the well-worn path of previous presidents who failed to put the interests of America and Americans first. This includes how the U.S. deals with China.

For decades, the relationship that the United States has had with China frequently defied comprehension and logic.  Consider that China enjoys Most Favored Trade Status, even while it has manipulated currency, has engaged in large-scale espionage and in the wide-spread hacking of U.S. computers that belong to our military, government agencies, corporations and even private citizens--in identity theft.

We must not lose sight that China, first and foremost, is governed by a totalitarian communist government that routinely and profoundly violates the rights of its own citizens.

Nevertheless, many American companies have moved their production lines to China providing China even greater opportunities to steal intellectual property from these U.S. companies.  This illustrates just how far CEOs of major companies will go to lower the cost of labor and overcome regulations while undermining the future of their own companies.  This practice is not a matter of corporate executives suffering from myopia but utter blindness, calling into question, not only the vision of those American executives, but their sanity as well.

Meanwhile for years, the United States has admitted hundreds of thousands of Chinese STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students and provided them with first-rate educations.

Chinese engineering students often take advantage of the expanding “Optional Practical Training” opportunities in the United States to work in U.S. companies that were of interest to the Chinese government to spy on, and acquire new technology. 

Then these newly-minted engineers, computer programmers and other high-tech professionals return to China with their newly acquired skills to help build up China’s military.  When China rattles its sabers at the United States and other countries around the world, frequently those sabers were designed by those engineers who received their education in the United States.

Furthermore, indeed, all too frequently China also shares stolen technology with adversaries of the United States.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). SEVP manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)--the web-based system DHS uses to maintain and manage information on the non-immigrants, whose primary purpose for coming to the United States is to study.

Every other year ICE issues a report about the enrollment of foreign students in the United States.  Here is the link to the latest such report:  SEVIS By The Numbers: Biannual Report On International Student Trends April 2018.

It disclosed, among other facts that:

Forty-nine percent of the F and M student population in the United States hailed from either China (377,070 students) or India (211,703 students), and interest continues to grow. Over the reporting period, both China and India saw proportional growth between 1 and 2 percent, with China sending 6,305 more students and India sending 2,356 more students. It is this level of participation from China and India that makes Asia far and away the most popular continent of origin. In fact, 77 percent of all international students in the United States call Asia home.

F student visas are for students enrolled in academic programs while M students are enrolled in trade schools.

While the report did not disclose how many Chinese students are enrolled in STEM courses of study, in years past, more than half of all Chinese students enrolled in STEM courses of study.

On December 10, 2018 Forbes Magazine published commentary by Arthur Herman, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Huawei's (And China's) Dangerous High-Tech Game.  His piece focused on the implications of the December 1, 2018 arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada, allegedly because Huawei’s Hong Kong shell company, Skycom sold products to Iran that contained U.S. components in violation of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Here is an important excerpt from the piece:

What makes this arrest such a landmark isn’t just the fact that Meng is heir apparent to the Chinese tech company her father founded and which has gained nearly $100 billion in revenue in 2018; or because Huawei is currently the world’s biggest supplier of telecom network equipment and number two cellphone producer (Apple is third); or even the fact this arrest falls in the midst of a declared 90-day truce in the on-going trade battle between China and the Trump administration.

Instead, this is a shot across Beijing’s bow in a much bigger struggle, the one for high-tech supremacy between the U.S. and China—the one that will decide the fate of the 21st century. Meng’s arrest sends the message that Huawei, and its Chinese Communist Party puppet masters, are playing a dangerous game, if they think they can win this high-stakes struggle by any means fair or foul.

Three days later, on December 13th Herman wrote a followup piece, A Death In Silicon Valley 'With Chinese Characteristics' that reported on the suicide of the distinguished Chinese quantum physicist, venture capitalist, and Stanford University professor Zhang Shoucheng that took place on December 1, 2018, the same day that the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Canada.

Although Shoucheng was a naturalized U.S. citizen, he maintained disturbingly close links with the Chinese government.

Consider these excerpts from the article:

“Despite being a naturalized U.S. citizen, Zhang maintained close contact with the Communist regime in China (the head of ShanghaiTech, for example, is the son of former party leader Jiang Zemin). His company Digital Horizon Capital, known by the acronym DHVC, has been identified as part of a major Chinese infiltration effort into Silicon Valley, according to the U.S. Trade Representative Richard Lighthizer’s latest report on China—a report released just days before Zhang’s death.”

Lighthizer’s report specifically named Zhang’s DHVC as part of the “web of entities” set up in Silicon Valley “to further the industrial-policy goals of the Chinese government.” Zhang’s DHVC, as it turns out, is heavily back by the investment arm of an entity called the Zhongguancum Development Corporation (ZDG), a Chinese government state-owned firm, which revealed on its website during DHVC’s launch that Zhang’s outfit was going to focus on innovative technology being fostered at Stanford and elsewhere in Silicon Valley, for the benefit of ZDG.”

I addressed my concerns about Chinese aggression in three recent articles that were published earlier this year:

Fears About Chinese ‘Trade War’ Are Late And Dumb
China has been waging economic war against the U.S. for decades.

China Ratchets Up Its U.S. Spying Programs
American Universities and financial institutions are at risk.

Chinese Citizen Arrested By FBI For Spying On U.S.
A case that highlights the nexus between immigration and espionage.

On December 20, 2018 the DOJ issued a press release, “Two Chinese Hackers Associated With the Ministry of State Security Charged with Global Computer Intrusion Campaigns Targeting Intellectual Property and Confidential Business Information.”

On September 10, 2018 Newsweek reported, “China's Role In Russia's Largest War Games Shows Beijing-Moscow Ties Are Strengthening, Experts Say.”

On September 13, 2018 Newsweek reported, “Will China Bail Out Venezuela? Maduro Heads To Beijing Amid U.S. Invasion Rumors.”

As the article reported:

China has sent more than $50 billion to Venezuela over the past decade in the form of oil-for-loan deals, according to Reuters. These have allowed Beijing to secure much-needed fuel for its growing economy while supporting a vehemently anti-American government in South America.

Furthermore, as I noted in my recent article, Caravan Of 'Migrants' - A Crisis Decades In The Making, The President of Guatemala has claimed that cash-strapped Venezuela has provided funding to the “Caravan of Migrants.” 

It is possible that China and/or Iran have provided cash to Venezuela that was then used to subsidize at least some of the costs of organizing and transporting thousands of aspiring illegal aliens who sought to enter the United States by whatever means possible.

On September 14, 2018 Newsweek reported,  “Chinese Deal To Take Over Key Israeli Port May Threaten U.S. Naval Operations, Critics Say.”

My dad taught me that bullies could intimidate me only if I permitted them to intimidate me. 

President Trump is demonstrating a clear lesson to the thugs and bullies of the world that finally America will no longer be pushed around. 

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