The United States says it has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers deemed a security risk.
The move follows a proclamation by President Donald Trump in May against Chinese citizens suspected of having links with the military. He said some had stolen data and intellectual property.
China accused the United States of racial discrimination.
Nearly 370,000 Chinese students were enrolled in US universities in 2018-19.
A state department spokesperson described those whose visas were revoked as “high-risk graduate students and research scholars.”
He said they were a “small subset” of the total number of Chinese students.
“We continue to welcome legitimate Chinese students and academics who do not promote the Chinese Communist Party’s military dominance goals,” the spokesperson said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the move at a daily press conference in Beijing.
“This is total political persecution and racial discrimination. It seriously violates the human rights of these Chinese students,” spokesman Zhao Lijian said, adding that China reserves the right to “respond further”.
The May 29 proclamation accused China of engaging in a “far-reaching and resourceful campaign to acquire sensitive technologies and intellectual property from the United States” and said it was using some students “to operate as collectors of non-traditional property. . intellectual “.
Some Chinese students in the United States say they face growing hostility and suspicion on college campuses and their reasons for studying are questioned.