At a regular press conference of the Chinese Foreign Ministry last week (July 6), spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China had noticed that some Chinese students had been denied visas to the United States on the grounds that they had violated Presidential Order 10043 signed by former President Donald Trump, and that China was “gravely concerned” and had raised the issue with the United States. The Chinese side expressed “serious concern” and has made “serious representations” to the U.S. side, as did another spokesperson, Hua Chunying, questioning whether this is “freedom and openness” of the U.S., and so on.
Attentive netizens, however, immediately looked up records of past statements by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, such as on Nov. 29, 2019, when former Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, in response to a reporter’s question, said, “The visa issue is a country’s sovereignty. The Chinese government certainly has the right to decide who is allowed to enter the country and who is not. Those who are not welcome will naturally not be allowed to enter the country.”
When the Hong Kong SAR government refused to grant a visa to Ma Kai, vice chairman of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Hong Kong, to renew his work visa in 2018, the party newspaper Global Times commented that visas are a matter of sovereignty and that not renewing visas is “open to interpretation”; and a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong also said at the time The spokesman for the Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong also pointed out that “visas are matters within the sovereignty of a country” and that “the HKSAR government has the right to decide whether to approve visa renewal applications in Hong Kong in accordance with “one country, two systems” and the Basic Law ….. Foreign countries have no right to interfere”.
So why does the Chinese Foreign Ministry now “realize that the present is not the same as the past” and suddenly consider that visa issues are not “internal affairs of other countries” or the sovereignty of the United States? Why does it think that China has the right to intervene in the “internal affairs” of the United States regarding visas? Does the Chinese government believe that the U.S. government does not have the right to decide who enters the country? Why does it not recall its own statement in 2019, and indeed in 2018, that “those who are not welcome will naturally not be allowed to enter the country”?
What’s more, a large number of patriots have pointed out that Chinese students bring huge tuition revenue to foreign universities, and even said that it is all thanks to Chinese students that foreign universities are supported so that they can avoid bankruptcy and closure. Now that the U.S. government is “hitting itself with a rock” and losing high tuition revenue, so that these international students can stay and work for their country in China, instead of exchanging RMB for dollars, and not fearing the loss of talent due to immigration in the future, and improving the current aging population in China, it should be celebrated, why the double standard and the intention to help the U.S. universities and colleges?
Some reports even point out that if the U.S. maintains its current visa policy, it will result in “an influx of Chinese talent that will never return to pre-epidemic levels, and U.S. technological development will suffer as a result,” and so on. Why is China not immediately celebrating, and the major institutions immediately competing for these students, but to protest, and some even propose to go to the United States to hire lawyers and spend more money to fight for the loss of Chinese talents to the United States?