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International relations

US visas for Chinese students tumble 99% as tensions rise

Bilateral row and coronavirus blamed for dramatic decline

Some Chinese students are changing their plans to study in the U.S. as Washington steps up screening of visa applicants.    © Reuters

DALIAN, China -- U.S. visas issued to Chinese students have fallen dramatically as tougher screening by Washington and the pandemic discourage applicants amid rising tensions between the two countries.  

The number of F-1 student visas granted to applicants in mainland China came to just 808 in the six months through September, down 99% from 90,410 in the same period a year earlier, according to data released by the U.S. Department of State. Chinese students make up the largest share of international students in the U.S., at roughly 30%.

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