Earlier this month, congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R, M.O) introduced the “Protecting Higher Education from the Chinese Communist Party Act of 2022,” which would make high ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ineligible for student or research visas.
“While the CCP commits genocide and other atrocities, they continue to send their children to the United States to receive a world-class education. This must be stopped,” she said in a statement. “The Protecting Higher Education from the Chinese Communist Party Act puts an end to this practice, effectively halting the advancement of those who are actively working to undermine our nation.”
Defending the bill on Capitol Report, Hartzler said “We have to realize that China has a plan for world domination. It sounds like some Hollywood movie; that’s the reality.”
“We shouldn’t be aiding and abetting those who want to do us harm. It’s just wrong,” she added.
Currently, about 35%, around 300,000, of international students studying in the US are from China. The FBI has claimed that many of these students are actively working for China to steal American technology. The report claimed that “These Chinese scholars may serve as collectors—wittingly or unwittingly—of economic, scientific, and technological intelligence from U.S. institutions to ultimately benefit Chinese academic institutions and businesses.”
In response to this problem, the Trump administration prohibited Chinese students from participating in research in sensitive fields. While the Biden administration has relaxed these restrictions, still, as of last July, 500 Chinese student visa applications had been rejected over security concerns.
The law would mostly target members of the National People’s Congress, their spouses, children, and grandchildren. The National People’s Congress is nominally China’s governing body, though it largely serves as a rubber stamp on the decisions of senior party leaders.
Many high-ranking CCP officials send their children to study in the US. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping’s daughter Xi Mingze, for instance, is currently pursuing a graduate degree in the US after getting her undergrad from Harvard in 2014. Her exact location and current place of study are kept secret for security reasons.