WASHINGTON, May 30. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation to suspend entry as non-immigrants for certain students and researchers from China, according to the document, released by the White House on Friday.
"The PRC [People’s Republic of China] authorities use some Chinese students, mostly post-graduate students and post-doctorate researchers, to operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property," reads the document, posted on the White House’s website.
The suspension will affect Chinese students and researchers, "who are or have been associated with the PLA [People’s Liberation Army of China]."
"In light of the above, I have determined that the entry of certain nationals of the PRC seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an F or J visa to study or conduct research in the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States," Trump said in the proclamation.
At the same time, the US Secretary of State was tasked with deciding on whether to annul the visas of those who already arrived to the United States under an F or J visa and fall under the proclamation’s criteria.
In a statement issued later, the White House assured that the move would "not affect students who come to the United States for legitimate reasons."
Relations between the United States and China aggravated against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Trump has repeatedly suggested that Beijing concealed information about the epidemic at an early stage and failed to prevent the infection from spreading outside the country’s borders. The Chinese government rejected all those claims.
In addition, Washington heavily criticized China’s plans to adopt a national security legislation for Hong Kong. Chinese Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday that the Chinese government will take all the necessary counter-measures if Washington continues to interfere into domestic affairs of China and its special administrative region.