China on Monday warned its students and scholars to think about the "risks" associated with attending college in the United States citing US visa restrictions.
Xu Yongji, an official from the Chinese Education Ministry, told reporters here that the Trump administration and the Congress had "politicised some normal China-US educational exchanges and cooperation activities", The Washington Post reported.
"[They] are cracking down on them under the banner of 'China threat' and 'China infiltration,' and they are stigmatising Confucius Institutes as a tool for China," she said, referring to the programs through which Beijing has sought to expand Chinese language and cultural studies into American universities.
"[They] are accusing Chinese students and scholars in the United States of launching 'nontraditional espionage' activities and causing trouble for no reason," Xu said, advising current and potential students to "strengthen" their risk assessments before deciding to study in the United States.
The warning comes as the Chinese government looks for ways to retaliate against Washington for the tariffs it has imposed on Chinese goods worth USD 250 billion.
Analysts also suggest that US President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the G20 summit in Japan later this month, will find some tentative solution to the ongoing problem.
Meanwhile, Chinese students have made up an increasingly large proportion of international students in the United States in recent years, and have further become a valuable source of income for many colleges.
But the rate at which they are being rejected for visas is concerning the authorities here.
Government figures cited by The Washington Post divulged that 331 of the 10,313 students who applied to study in the United States on Chinese government scholarships were rejected in 2018.
Furthermore, officials said that visas are taking longer to issue and are being issued for shorter periods.
This comes as the United States revoked the 10-year visas program for some Chinese scholars especially dealing with the US-China relations.
The Chinese Embassy in the United States also issued a notice on its website Sunday about the new requirement, reminding citizens to "truthfully provide the application materials.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)