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Executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China
My visa was canceled after I attended a conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Before that, I went to the US three to five times a year, normally for academic exchange events such as dialogues on trade and South China Sea issues between Chinese and US think tanks.
None of these are sensitive activities.
I saw my name, as well as many other Chinese scholars, mentioned in the China's Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance released by the Hoover Institute of the US. The report warned of a rising threat from China's "penetration and influence-seeking" activities in the US.
It's normal for China and the US to have competition and cooperation, and everyone just plays by the rules.
You come to China to tell the story of the US and I come to the US to tell the story of China and let's see who tells the story better. Now the US is beginning to feel anxious about the influence of Chinese scholars and they have decided not to play by the rules and cancel their visas.
However, it cannot be ruled out that this is a move by a US government department to expand its authority in order to seize power. On the whole, the US government appears to be lacking in self-confidence. This kind of behavior can also be regarded as part of the decoupling policy against China.
Though over 280 Chinese scholars have had their US visas canceled or obstructed, or have been harassed by FBI agents since 2018, I think we should stay calm on this. The US may be able to "delink" the 280 Chinese scholars, but it cannot cut off the 5.3 million mutual visits every year.
What is happening now is a normal fluctuation in bilateral relations and won't affect the integration and exchange of the world's two largest economies. China and the US are fighting with each other but they won't cut relations.
There's no need to make a fuss. If you pay too much attention, it only encourages the arrogance of US politicians who want to decouple from China. It will also affect the willingness of some Chinese scholars to go to the US for exchanges.
As far as I am concerned, the impact of visa cancellations is limited. You can do research on China-US relations even if you do not go to the US, and the proportion of US research in China's foreign and international studies is declining.
I am still confident about going to the US in the future, so to some extent I am quite calm in the current the situation.
Some may feel pessimistic about China-US relations, saying the good-old days are gone, but this is not in contradiction to staying calm throughout.
In the past, the US has been in a strong position where China was weak. However, as China has grown stronger, the China-US relations will gradually recover and we will see a balance in the new era.
The current China-US relationship is a bit like that of China and Japan in 2007. During that time, China's economic volume was about to surpass Japan's.
Japan was abnormally anxious and it frequently challenged China over the Diaoyu Islands, which led to an unprecedented deterioration of bilateral ties. Now, China's GDP is close to three times that of Japan, and China-Japan relations are more moderate than they were.
In fact, the US has a history of setting up barriers to China-US exchanges. In the early 1990s, visas were difficult to get for Chinese scholars who went to the US for study and exchange.
But now, the number of scholars who have been treated unfairly is relatively small compared with those who have not been harassed. It is now the internet, and the public's high expectations for China-US exchanges that have triggered a wide response in China.
The US is extremely anxious, and it may resort to more extreme means in the short term. We must have long-term preparations.
At the same time, we must also look at the problems from China's strategic interests, to be more inclusive and treat China-US exchanges with a more open mind than the US so that we will not fall into any traps set by some small groups.