Selin ATAY-TDO- The United States has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers who are deemed to have ties to the Chinese military.

There are nearly 370,000 Chinese nationals enrolled at the US universities, yet many have had their studies disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"High-risk graduate students and research scholars" had been expelled, after they "were found to be subject to Presidential Proclamation 10043 and therefore ineligible for a visa”, the US State Department said in a statement.

The revocation of visas comes after the statement issued by President Donald Trump in May. The proclamation claims that Chinese nationals suspected of having ties to the its military [the People’s Liberation Army].

The proclamation accused China of engaging in a "wide-ranging and heavily resourced campaign to acquire sensitive United States technologies and intellectual property" and said China was using some students "to operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property".

The State Department described the revocation of visas as "safeguards US national security”.

According to the State Department spokeswomen, Chinese nationals affected by the expulsions "represent a small subset of the total number of Chinese students and scholars coming to the US."

"We continue to welcome legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party's goals of military dominance," the spokeswoman said in her statement.

The Chinese foreign ministry denounced the revocation of visas at a daily media briefing in Beijing.  "This is outright political persecution and racial discrimination. It seriously violates the human rights of these Chinese students," spokesman Zhao Lijian said. The spokesman added that China reserved the right to "further respond".

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