At a dinner on August 7, 2018, US President Trump "expressed concern that some foreign students were acting as foreign agents, particularly from China".  Jill Welch, NAFSA's deputy executive director for public policy, said    "international students and scholars are one of America’s greatest foreign policy assets" adding that  "Chinese students contribute $12 billion to the U.S. economy, alongside countless other benefits, so even a modest reduction in Chinese enrollment would be devastating, and virtually every community in America would feel the impact if Chinese students decided not to study in the United States." Separately a US State Department official confirmed the broad outlines of the visa changes at a June Senate subcommittee hearing titled “Student Visa Integrity: Protecting Educational Opportunity and National Security.”  He revealed the hearing's name was changed; it originally bore the title “A Thousand Talents: China’s Campaign to Infiltrate and Exploit U.S. Academia.”  The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Christopher Wray, also told a Senate panel in February that academe is naïve about the counterintelligence threats posed by Chinese students and scholars and that the “China threat” is “a whole-of-society threat on their end” that’s “going to take a whole-of-society response.” n May, the Associated Press reported that a new policy going into effect June 11 would limit Chinese graduate students in certain high-tech fields to one-year visas -- instead of the usual five -- due to concerns about intellectual property theft.  

(Comment: There are more than 350,000 Chinese students studying at U.S. universities -- the largest group of international students by far -- and Chinese students earned about 10 percent of all doctorates awarded by American universities in 2016.)

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