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Commentary: Ghost of McCarthyism back in the United States?



The announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump that he is considering revoking the visas of thousands of Chinese students is nothing short of sheer politicization of educational exchanges between the two countries. By using lies and innuendos, the Trump administration is destroying trust between China and the United States.

For months, some U.S. politicians have been scapegoating China to shirk responsibilities for an incompetent COVID-19 response amid rising public criticism. Now they have again breached the bottom line. It is shameless to wantonly restrict and repress Chinese students in the United States to meet political goals.

Prohibiting entry of Chinese students and researchers into the United States broke the U.S. leadership’s promise of welcoming Chinese students who want to pursue studies there. The U.S. leader said his country would take good care of Chinese people living in the United States, including Chinese students, during a phone call between the two countries’ heads of state on March 27. Apparently, the U.S. side is planning to renege on its own words.

More seriously, such a racist move exposes deep-seated zero-sum game mindset and Cold-War mentality of some U.S. politicians. It resembles the anti-Communism narratives in the times of McCarthyism in the late 1940s and 1950s in the United States.

Adopting the old tactics of hyping up “espionage” theory, some U.S. politicians attempt to create an atmosphere of fear in the educational sector and could make anyone the target of persecution on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations.

Were the U.S. side to adopt measures harming Chinese students’ rights and interests, it would be brazen political persecution and racial discrimination and a grave violation of human rights. The move also runs counter to the ideals of openness and freedom that the United States claims to be the champion of.

In face of the wrong deeds by the United States, China will definitely take necessary steps to safeguard its students’ rights and interests in accordance with law.

The educational restriction is the latest evidence of how low and paranoid the current administration has sunk. It is a warning signal that selfish and narrow-minded politicians are leading the United States into an era when racism and ideological manipulation resurrect. The U.S. public should be cautious as the current administration is stealing their future.


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