American students’ love affair with China cooled down as political tension

Mike Thompson was set to travel to Beijing last year with Fulbright funding to find out how the Chinese government recruits and trains its officers.

When the US suspended all of China’s Fulbright programs in July, part of Beijing’s sanctions on Beijing, their Fulbright program gave them and some other China-centric scholars the opportunity to transfer their field work to Taiwan gave. Mr. Thompson, a 30-year-old Michigan doctoral student whose first visit to China in 2009, was able to change his subject to Taiwan’s bureaucracy, but was disappointed by the Trump administration’s decision.

“This is a personal setback for me and a major setback for the US-China relationship,” he said.

According to data released in November by the Institute of International Education, the number of American students in China has declined by more than a fifth since 2011–2012. During the same period, the number of American students in Taiwan has increased by about 55%.

The Washington-Beijing relationship shifts between declines and, according to teachers, pre-Kovid-19 epidemic. He said that interest in studying sugar on American campuses has cooled.


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