US needs Chinese students in humanities, not sciences: diplomat

Published June 25, 2024
FILE PHOTO: Kurt Campbell, US White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, talks with a group of guests including U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant in Washington, US, May 12, 2022 —  Reuters
FILE PHOTO: Kurt Campbell, US White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, talks with a group of guests including U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant in Washington, US, May 12, 2022 — Reuters

WASHINGTON: The United States should welcome more students from China, but to study the humanities rather than sciences, the second-ranked US diplomat said on Monday, noting that US universities are limiting Chinese students’ access to sensitive technology given security concerns.

Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said not enough Americans were studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. He said the US needed to recruit more international students for those fields, but from India, an increasingly important US security partner, and not China.

For years, Chinese students have made up the largest foreign student body in the US and totalled nearly 290,000 in the 2022-23 academic year.

But some in academia and civil society argue that deteriorating US-China relations and concerns about theft of expertise, have derailed scientific cooperation and subjected Chinese students to unwarranted suspicion.

“I would like to see more Chinese students coming to the United States to study humanities and social sciences, not particle physics,” Campbell told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

Campbell was asked about the China Initiative introduced by the Trump administration, intended to combat alleged Chinese espionage, which ended under the Biden administration after critics said it spurred racial profiling of Asian Americans.

Campbell said US universities had made “careful attempts” to support continuing higher education for Chinese students, but had also been “careful about the labs, some of the activities of Chinese students”.

“I do think it is possible to curtail and to limit certain kinds of access, and we have seen that generally, particularly in technological programmes across the United States,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Reforming militants
24 Jul, 2024

Reforming militants

Such initiatives have been tried before, in Swat for instance, at centres run by the military as well as NGOs.
IPP debate
24 Jul, 2024

IPP debate

A FIERCE debate blaming the exorbitant electricity prices on expensive power purchase agreements with IPPs has been...
Political vendettas
24 Jul, 2024

Political vendettas

IT seems that the PML-N and PPP need to be reminded again that they are doing themselves a considerable disservice ...
Security concerns
23 Jul, 2024

Security concerns

All stakeholders want what is best for the country and its people; their differing approaches shouldn’t be viewed with such suspicion all the time.
Frankfurt vandalism
23 Jul, 2024

Frankfurt vandalism

THE state needs to seek serious answers from the German authorities regarding the July 20 mob attack targeting...
Stressed cotton economy
23 Jul, 2024

Stressed cotton economy

DECREASING cotton production should be a worry for the government because of its socioeconomic implications. Early...