In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said that the United States government needs to “take a very hard look” at the visas issued to Chinese students, reports Mediaite.
Speaking with Sunday Morning Futures anchor Maria Bartiromo, Cotton railed against the Chinese government, arguing that China is taking advantage of the United States in a number of different ways.
The senator suggested that Chinese students join American universities only to go back to their homeland once done with the studies, which helps their country’s ruling Communist Party compete with the United States on the world stage.
“It’s a scandal to me that we have trained so many of so many of the Chinese Communist Party’s brightest minds to go back to China, to compete for our jobs, to take our business and ultimately to steal our property,” Cotton began.
“I think we need to take a very hard look at the visas we give Chinese nationals to come to the U.S. to study,” he continued.
According to Cotton, Chinese students should not be allowed to study science in the United States.
“If Chinese students want to come here and study Shakespeare and the Federalist Papers, that’s what they need to learn from America. They don’t need to learn quantum computing and artificial intelligence.”
Cotton also alleged that China is stealing intellectual property from the United States, arguing that the coronavirus pandemic will not stop it from doing so. COVID-19, according to the senator, was “unleashed” by the Chinese government. Furthermore, he said, Chinese intelligence agencies are looking for ways to steal American information pertaining to a possible coronavirus vaccine.
Cotton has previously made similar remarks, seemingly accusing China of deliberately spreading the virus. The senator appears to be one of the most hawkish voices in the upper chamber, given that he has repeatedly advocated for a more aggressive posture toward China. In a late March interview, for instance, he said that there will be a “reckoning” once the pandemic is over.
The sentiments expressed by Cotton are apparently becoming increasingly common in right-wing and Republican Party circles.
Earlier this week, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon floated the possibility of regime change in China, accusing the country of deliberately hiding vital information about COVID-19. Bannon argued that China is refusing to cooperate with the global community, suggesting that the Chinese people will soon be ready to overthrow their government.
Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas have similarly called for more aggressive policy toward China. Graham has proposed sanctions and Cruz has been calling on the government to stop funding Chinese research laboratories.