GOP Sen. Tom Cotton suggested that Chinese students should be banned from studying technology and science in the US — and said he has “little doubt” that Beijing is trying to steal a coronavirus vaccine from America.
“In the middle of a pandemic, what’s the most valuable intellectual property in the world? It’s the research that our great laboratories and life science companies are doing on prophylactic drugs, therapeutic drugs, and ultimately a vaccine,” Cotton of Arkansas said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“So I have little doubt that the Chinese intelligence services are actively trying to steal America’s intellectual property as it relates to the virus that they unleashed on the world, because, of course, they want to be the country that claims credit for finding those drugs or finding a vaccine, and then use it as leverage against the rest of the world,” the senator continued.
He told host Maria Bartiromo that he believes it’s a “scandal” that US educational institutions have trained “so many of the Chinese Communist Party’s brightest minds” to return home and steal US jobs and “design weapons and other devices that can be used against the American people.”
“So I think we need to take a very hard look at the visas that we give the Chinese nationals to come to the United States to study, especially at the post-graduate level in advanced scientific and technological fields,” he said.
“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 from America.”
Cotton is among a number of lawmakers who have accused China of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus after first reporting cases of it last December in the city of Wuhan.
Cotton said the Chinese Communist Party was “both criminally negligent and incompetent” in the early stages of how it reacted to the outbreak and later “deliberately malevolent in the way they responded to this virus, for their own people and the world.”
There were nearly 3 million coronavirus cases around the world as of Sunday.
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