Washington, D.C. – President Donald Trump’s government could soon expel thousands of Chinese graduate students enrolled in U.S. universities and impose other sanctions on Chinese officials, the latest indications of tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade, the pandemic of coronavirus, human rights and status of Hong Kong.
Trump said on Friday he will make an announcement about China, and government officials said the president is weighing a proposal submitted months ago to revoke visas for students affiliated with educational institutions in China related to the People’s Liberation Army or intelligence China.
The president is also weighing to impose financial and travel sanctions on Chinese officials for the way they have acted in Hong Kong, according to officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to testify on the matter publicly.RELATED
“We will announce what we will do tomorrow with respect to China and we are not happy with China,” Trump said to the press on Thursday, referring mainly to COVID-19, during an event unrelated to this issue. “We are not happy with what happened. All over the world there are people suffering, 186 countries. All over the world they are suffering. We are not happy. ”
Although the expulsions of students are not directly related to Hong Kong or to China’s measures to impose full control over the former British colony, the possible sanctions on the officials involved in those actions would be the result of the resolution of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Hong Kong can no longer be considered autonomous territory of mainland China.
Pompeó notified Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer deserves the preferential trade status that the United States has granted it since it returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Under the Sino-British Hong Kong surrender agreement, the island was to be governed differently than the Chinese mainland for 50 years in accordance with the “one country, two systems” policy.
Serious consideration of the visa revocation proposal, first reported by The New York Times, has faced opposition from US universities and scientific organizations that rely on fees Chinese students pay to offset other expenses. Furthermore, these institutions fear possible reciprocal measures by Beijing that could limit access to China for its students and teachers.