If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Trump bans some Chinese students from US

Order bans graduate students and postdocs with military ties

by Andrea Widener
June 4, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 22


US President Donald J. Trump signed an order late last month canceling visas and barring entry for Chinese students, postdocs, and other visiting scientists associated with China’s “military-civil fusion strategy.”

The order, which went into effect June 1, is an effort to stop what the Trump administration sees as a Chinese attempt to acquire US technology. Some Chinese students “operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property,” the order says.

The ban applies to F visas, typically used by graduate students, and J visas, usually issued to postdocs and visitors.

Undergrads associated with the Chinese program are still allowed to enter the US.

At least 3,000 students could be affected by the move, according to an estimate from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). “Officials have acknowledged there is no direct evidence that has pointed to wrongdoing by Chinese visa-holding students,” Benjamin Corb, ASBMB’s public affairs director, says in a statement.

Universities welcome vetting of visa holders who have not been honest about their military ties, says Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, but the federal government should be transparent about who poses a security threat. “These efforts must not diminish collaborative science with international partners acting in good faith,” he says in a statement. “The United States has benefited enormously from cross-border collaboration on science, and we must ensure that the world’s brightest minds still feel drawn to study, research, teach, and spur innovations in the United States.”



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.