Photo: on September 17 last year, students on the campus of Oxford University were wearing masks. /Information picture
[Ta Kung Pao] BBC and the Times reported that the trump administration of the United States has repeatedly abused “safeguarding national security”; After slandering Chinese scholars and researchers for stealing sensitive information for the Chinese military and hindering normal academic exchanges, the British government plans to conduct “security review” on foreign scholars and researchers studying and working in 44 fields from next month 15;. British media said that thousands of Chinese researchers may be refused entry to the UK as a result, and Chinese scholars who are already in the UK may be deprived of their visa if they are considered “at risk”.
According to the times, British universities have been informed that the foreign affairs, federal and Development Office plans to conduct security review on overseas scholars and researchers who want to study or work in the field of “national security”, including 44 disciplines such as artificial intelligence, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer. The government communications headquarters also warned against the theft of personal information, research data and intellectual property rights by “hostile countries.”;.
Tens of thousands of Chinese scholars fear to be affected
In October last year, the British government required that foreign researchers who applied to study “sensitive subjects” related to “national security” in the UK be subject to security review and obtain “special professional license” (ATAS) before they can carry out their study and research. In the past, only researchers who research and develop weapons of mass destruction need to apply for atas, but since last year, it has been expanded to “advanced conventional military technology”, such as aircraft and cyber weapons.
Since last November, applicants have also been required to disclose their relationship with the military. Applicants from the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Singapore are exempted. Public opinion generally believes that the British move is a means of suppressing Chinese students and researchers.
According to statistics, from 2018 to 2019, there are 7330 Chinese research-oriented postgraduates in the UK, most of whom need to apply for atas. During the same period, 3560 Chinese scholars have served as lecturers and postdoctors in “sensitive subjects” in British universities. When they renew their visa, they will be subject to new security review.
Li Shujun, a China professor who studies cyber security at the University of Kent, said he believed the British government’s measures were politically motivated and discriminatory. In addition, due to the impact of the epidemic, the number of overseas students has dropped sharply, which has seriously affected the income of British universities. The government’s move is undoubtedly adding insult to injury and is expected to cause a rebound in many universities.
In May last year, former US President trump ordered that Chinese students and scholars who are “related to the Chinese military” and hold f (student visa) and J (visiting scholar visa) be prohibited from entering China. The U.S. government subsequently revoked the visas of more than 1000 Chinese students and scholars on this basis. The Chinese Ministry of foreign affairs has repeatedly opposed the US move, denouncing the US government for blatantly damaging the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students studying in the US, as naked political persecution and racial discrimination, and a serious violation of the human rights of Chinese students studying in the US.
Britain wants to join the small NATO in Asia;
In addition to its groundless crackdown on Chinese academics, Britain has recently stepped up its resistance to China in diplomatic, military and other fields. As soon as U.S. President Biden came to power, he actively formed cliques in the Indo Pacific region to try to encircle China.
Campbell, the White House National Security Commission’s India Pacific Regional Coordinator appointed by Biden, plans to expand the “four Nation Alliance” known as “small NATO in Asia”;. When visiting India in December last year, British Foreign Secretary LAN Taowen, who was eager to please the United States, said that he would not rule out joining the “four Nation Alliance.”;.
In addition, Campbell also supported Britain’s invitation to India, Australia and South Korea to attend the G7 meeting in June and the establishment of the so-called “League of 10 democratic nations.”;. According to the analysis, after brexit, Britain may incline to the Asia Pacific region. However, no matter it is the small NATO in Asia or the alliance of 10 democratic countries, the member countries are not united. In addition, the domestic epidemic situation in the United States and Britain is very serious, and there is no energy to deal with foreign affairs for the time being.
The Royal Navy announced on January 4 that its only aircraft carrier, Queen Elizabeth, is expected to make its first deployment to the Asia Pacific region this spring;. However, the British media questioned that, including the “Prince of Wales” which was put into operation in 2023, neither of the two aircraft carriers has the ability to stay in the Asia Pacific region for a long time. Whether the British army can shoulder important responsibilities in the Indo Pacific region is also a question mark.