On Tuesday, the White House announced that the US government is currently considering shortening the visa length given to some Chinese citizens as part of its efforts to protect America's intellectual property from rivals.
According to an official, the US State Department will be implementing these measures from June 11 to "enhance security for some Chinese visa applicants."
The news comes after US President Donald Trump announced that his administration will be cracking down on intellectual property theft allegedly done by China.
The official also referred to a document issued by the White House on December, saying "Going forward, a reduction in validity of some newly issued visas is a part of the National Security Strategy to ensure that intellectual property is not transferred to our competitors."
The document also said officials would consider restrictions on visas for science and technology students from some countries to ensure "intellectual property is not transferred to our competitors."
One State Department official said that the visa application process has not changed, but consulare officers may limit the validity of visas for some Chinese applicants on a case-by-case basis.
The Associated Press first reported the new policy of the Trump administration, quoting one US official saying Chinese graduate students would be limited to one-year visas if they are studying in fields like aviation, manufacturing and robotics. Beijing had earlier announced these are high-priority goal areas for the development of the manufacturing sector.
AP had also reported that the official said the instructions also stated that Chinese citizens seeking visas would require special clearance from multiple US agencies if they wish to work as researchers or managers for companies listed in the US Commerce Department's list of entities which needs higher scrutiny. The official remarked it may take months for applications to be processed.
On Tuesday, Washington said that it is still considering slapping 25% tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods to counter what they believe is China's unfair trade practices.