Should the US try to keep China’s technology from advancing?
By GEORGE KOO JULY 9, 2018 4:17 PM (UTC+8)
作者： GEORGE KOO 2018年7月9日
A number of commentators, including Asia Times’ own Pepe Escobar, have suggested that the trade war started by the Trump administration is not about intellectual-property theft or unfair trade but about not losing the technology race with China.
Escobar believes Trump is feeling threatened by China’s stated goals to become the world leader in 10 fields of technology by 2025. CNBC agrees, though more narrowly focused on who will win the race to develop fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology.
埃斯科瓦尔认为，中国宣称到2025年在10个技术领域成为世界领先地位的目标正威胁着特朗普。CNBC(美国全国广播公司财经频道）也同意这一观点，但更狭隘地关注谁将赢得开发第五代无线技术( 5G) 的竞赛。
One way to slow China down is to grant one-year visas to its students wishing to pursue graduate studies in the US. Since most PhD programs take four to five years to complete, having to renew their visa every year and be subject to arbitrary rejection would discourage some from applying to US universities.
The processing of visas at US consulates in China has also gotten murky lately. PhD researchers planning to present their research findings at national technical conferences in the US are finding the visa-approval process delayed without explanation. In some cases by the time they got their visa, it was too late to attend the conference.
Folks like US Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray and Senator Marco Rubio might privately snicker and applaud these tactics as ways of deterring “non-traditional” intelligence collection, but the actual consequences will be more seriously damaging to US national interest.
US universities need STEM students from China
Every year, about one-third of international students coming to the US for graduate studies are from China. Most of them major in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Graduates of these majors are most needed for the US to maintain its technology leadership, and these are the same majors that many kids born and raised in the US find too challenging and thus avoid.
每年来赴美留学的国际学生中，约有三分之一来自中国。他们大多数主修STEM( 科学、技术、工程和数学 ) 科目，美国最需要这些专业的毕业生来保持其技术领先地位，而这些专业正是许多在美国出生和长大的孩子觉得太具挑战性而避免选择的专业。
Graduate schools of major universities depend on students from China to staff their research programs and uphold the quality of work. Without them, many of the graduate schools would shrivel and survival would become problematic.
The claim that tens of thousands of students from China are sent to spy is nonsense and arises from xenophobia. Graduate research advances the boundaries of human knowledge. Such research does not get involved in militarily sensitive or national-security-related work unless the researchers qualify for appropriate levels of clearance.
Often overlooked is that in the past, most of these students upon completion of their advanced degrees have remained in the US to work. Silicon Valley would be a mere shadow of itself if Chinese with advanced technical degrees had not chosen to accept positions at Apple, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft and others.
Just a bit over 10 years ago, Don Pryzbyla, the FBI special agent in charge of Silicon Valley, said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation that his enormous challenge was to keep track of around a hundred thousand Chinese working in the San Francisco Bay Area because they were all potential spies for China.
As if buying Pryzbyla’s line of thinking, the administration of US President Donald Trump is now figuring out different ways of discouraging Chinese from remaining in the US and pushing them back to China. Instead of sticking around to add to America’s edge in technology, they will contribute to China’s instead. How smart is that?
Racial bias hurts Americans with Asian ancestry
America’s racial discrimination doesn’t just apply to students from China, but ethnic Asians with US citizenship feel the same sting. As a recent study revealed, Chinese-Americans are especially susceptible to false arrest, accusations of espionage, and jail time only to have charges dropped or dismissed.
Unfortunately for the Chinese-Americans victimized by such incidents of false arrest, they almost never receive compensation for the damage done to their reputations and careers. They simply do not get justice.