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中国留美研究生签证限制引发科研界担忧
Visa Restrictions for Chinese Students Alarm Academia

来源:纽约时报    2018-07-27 02:11



        WASHINGTON — President Trump’s confrontation with China is beginning to ripple through American academic and research institutions, as a crackdown on visas for certain Chinese citizens has left the higher education community wondering how it will adapt to the administration’s effort to stop intellectual property theft and slow China’s push for technological supremacy.        华盛顿——特朗普总统与中国的对峙已开始波及美国学术和研究机构,政府限制某些中国公民签证的做法,让高等教育界不知该如何适应政府阻止知识产权盗窃、遏制中国追求技术霸权的行动。
        Educators and academic groups fear that the additional scrutiny could hinder scientific innovation, alienate talented applicants or intensify aggressions toward Chinese scientists already in the country.        教育工作者和学术团体担心,更多的审查可能会阻碍科学创新,让有才华的申请者怯步,或加剧对已在美国的华裔科学家的打击。
        Academics are already wrestling with the increased attention. At an aerospace conference in Georgia last month, Ella Atkins, a University of Michigan professor, recalled a colleague approaching her with a dilemma.        更多的关注已经让学者们疲于应对。上个月,在佐治亚州的一次航空航天会议上,密歇根大学(University of Michigan)教授埃拉·阿特金斯(Ella Atkins)回忆起一位同事就一个两难问题向她征求意见的事情。
        The colleague, an assistant professor at another university, had recently led and submitted a research proposal for a federal grant. But he worried that because he was Chinese, the judges would be biased against his team.        那位同事是另一所大学的助理教授,最近带领一个研究团队向联邦政府提交了一份项目资助申请。但他担心评审者会对他的团队有偏见,因为他是华人。
        “He said, ‘I need to figure out how to take myself off as the P.I., the principal investigator, if that’s going to compromise our project’s chances of being accepted,’” Ms. Atkins said, declining to name the academic for fear of jeopardizing his proposal. The professor, she added, was even considering withdrawing from the project completely to avoid holding back his co-researchers.        “他说,‘我需要想个办法不当项目的主要研究者,如果那会降低我们的项目获得资助的机会的话,’”阿特金斯说,由于担心损害他的项目申请,她拒绝透露该学者的姓名。她补充说,那位教授甚至考虑彻底退出项目,以避免妨碍他的研究合作者。
        It is a sentiment that some, such as Representative Judy Chu, Democrat of California, believe underscores a tone of racism behind the policy change. The restrictions, she said, equate to targeting “an entire ethnic group of people for suspicion that they’re spies for China.”        一些人认为,这个政策变化显露的情绪突显了其背后的种族主义色彩。比如,加州民主党众议员赵美心(Judy Chu)说,这些限制等同于把目标指向“一整个族群的人,怀疑他们都是中国间谍”。
        “I think we should take specific security threats seriously, but each of those threats should be identified by the threat, not by racial groups,” said Ms. Chu, the chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.        “我认为,我们应该认真对待具体的安全威胁,但每个威胁的判定应该以威胁本身为依据,而不是以种族群体为依据,”赵美心说。她是国会亚太裔美国人党团(Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus)主席。
        Since June 11, the State Department has been restricting visas for Chinese graduate students studying in sensitive research fields to one year, with the chance to reapply every year. The move rolls back an Obama-era policy that allowed Chinese citizens to secure five-year student visas.        自6月11日起,美国国务院已把在敏感研究领域学习的中国研究生的签证有效期限制为一年,这些学生每年有机会重新申请签证。此举推翻了奥巴马时代允许中国公民获得五年学生签证的政策。
        Le Fang, a Ph.D. student from China studying computer science at the University at Buffalo, locked up a five-year F-1 visa in 2015. But the new policy could hurt his friends whose visas recently expired, he said. They may have to fly back to China to get new visas, and they risk denials partway through their academic career.        在布法罗大学(University at Buffalo)攻读计算机科学的中国博士生方乐(音)已在2015年拿到了为期五年的F1签证。但他说,新政策可能会让他的朋友们遭殃,他们的签证最近到期了。他们可能不得不飞回中国去申请新签证,在自己的学业未完成时面临被拒签的危险。
        “I quite understand the security concern of the possible restriction,” Mr. Fang said, but “most of us never talk about politics and never work with mainland people.”        “我很理解可能的限制背后的安全关切,”方乐说,“但我们中的大多数从来不谈论政治,也从不与大陆人合作。”
        The American intelligence community, however, has increasingly seen the country’s academic institutions as vulnerable to espionage, in part because they provide a collaborative environment where cutting-edge research and technology are openly handled and developed.        但越来越多的美国情报界人士认为,美国学术机构容易遭间谍渗透,部分原因是学术机构提供了一种合作的环境,前沿的研究和技术在这里是公开运作和开发的。
        At a Senate hearing in February, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, warned lawmakers of China’s efforts to undermine the United States’ economy and security through “the use of nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting.”        在参议院今年2月的一个听证会上,美国联邦调查局局长克里斯托弗·雷(Christopher Wray)警告美国国会议员说,中国破坏美国经济和安全的努力包括通过“使用非传统的采集者,特别是学术领域的”。
        “One of the things we’re trying to do,” Mr. Wray added, “is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat, but a whole-of-society threat on their end. And I think it’s going to take a whole-of-society response by us.”        “我们正在努力做的一件事是,”雷补充说,“不仅要把中国的威胁视为针对整个政府的威胁,而且要将其视为他们对整个社会构成的威胁。我认为,这将需要我们拿出一个全社会的响应。”
        And a White House report last month detailing China’s “economic aggression” criticized recruiting efforts that aim to lure experts, academics and entrepreneurs from abroad to prestigious Chinese research institutions and universities. The National Intelligence Council has accused one such program, the Thousand Talents plan, of facilitating “the legal and illicit transfer of U.S. technology, intellectual property and know-how” to China.        白宫上个月发布的一份详细报告描述了中国的“经济侵略”,批评了中国旨在将海外的专家、学者和企业家吸引到中国知名研究机构和大学的招聘项目。美国国家情报委员会(National Intelligence Council)曾指责这些项目之一的“千人计划”,方便了“美国技术、知识产权和专有技术(向中国)的合法和非法转让”。
        But Chinese graduate students are largely seeking better opportunities for themselves, said Jenny Lee, a University of Arizona professor who studies international student mobility.        但亚利桑那大学(University of Arizona)研究国际学生流动性的教授珍妮·李(Jenny Lee)说,中国研究生在很大程度上是在为自己寻找更好的机会。
        A National Science Foundation study published last year found that from 2005 to 2015, nearly nine of 10 Chinese students who had earned Ph.D.s intended to remain in the United States.        美国国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)去年发表的一项研究发现,从2005年到2015年间,在美国获得博士学位的中国学生有近90%打算留在美国。
        Ms. Lee said the new restrictions could deter foreign students from enrolling in American universities. “Why would a student be willing to commit to a U.S. degree without a guarantee that they would have a steady visa?” she said.        珍妮·李说,新的限制措施可能会妨碍外国学生进入美国大学学习。“不保证他们能持续得到签证的话,学生凭什么下决心在美国攻读学位呢?”她说。
        The policy takes into account only the risks of foreign students studying in the United States, without acknowledging the “incredible positive side,” according to Stephen A. Orlins, the president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.        美中关系全国委员会(National Committee on U.S.-China Relations)会长欧伦斯(Stephen A. Orlins)说,这种政策只考虑了外国学生留学美国的风险,不承认其“极大的正面作用”。
        One of those benefits, said Yolanda Gil, director of knowledge technologies at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute, is the supply of talent and innovation that international students provide.        其中的一个好处是国际学生提供了人才和创新,南加州大学(University of Southern California)信息科学研究所的知识技术主任约兰达·吉尔(Yolanda Gil)说。
        It would be “a great loss,” she said, not to be able to interact with and learn from Chinese graduate students and visiting scholars at research conferences, where they regularly present projects and contribute to larger innovations in artificial intelligence.        她说,如果不能在学术会议上与中国研究生和访问学者交流、向他们学习的话,那将是“一个巨大的损失”,中国研究生和访问学者经常在学术会议上报告自己的研究项目,为人工智能领域的创新做出了很大贡献。
        Another advantage is financial. In 2016, the more than one million international students studying at colleges and universities in the United States contributed $39 billion to the American economy, according to the Institute of International Education. Almost a third of those students were from China.        财务方面也有好处。据国际教育学院(Institute of International Education)的数据,2016年,在美国的大学和学院就读的100多万名国际学生为美国经济贡献了390亿美元。国际学生中有近三分之一来自中国。
        The visa restrictions are the latest example of how Mr. Trump’s hard-line approach to immigration has touched higher education. His ban on travel from certain mostly Muslim nations has raised concerns about scientific research being stifled, and his administration announced in May that it would crack down on international students who overstay their visas. And some experts have cited the country’s uncertain political climate as a reason enrollment of first-time international students declined last fall.        高等教育深受特朗普在移民问题上的强硬立场影响,签证限制是这一点的最新例证。特朗普针对一些主要以穆斯林为主的国家的旅行禁令已经引发了人们对科学研究受到压制的担忧。他的政府还在今年5月宣布,将严惩那些签证过期后滞留美国的留学生。一些专家将美国不确定的政治气候作为去年秋季首次来美念书的国际学生人数下降的原因。
        The shift is also another setback in the United States’ relationship with China, coming amid a trade fight between Washington and Beijing that shows no signs of abating. The Trump administration has said the tariffs it has imposed on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods are necessary to curb the unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft that threaten the United States’ economy and national security.        签证政策改变的同时,华盛顿与北京的贸易较量没有任何缓和迹象,此举是美中关系受挫的又一表现。特朗普政府说,为遏制不公平的贸易以及威胁美国经济和国家安全的知识产权盗窃行为,有必要对价值340亿美元的中国商品加征关税。
        Details about the visa restrictions remain murky. At a June 6 Senate hearing, Edward J. Ramotowski, the deputy assistant secretary for visa services at the State Department, confirmed that new screening instructions were given to American embassies and consulates “to deal with certain individuals from China.”        签证限制的细节仍然模糊。在6月6日的参议院听证会上,美国国务院负责签证事务的副助理国务卿爱德华·J·拉莫托夫斯基(Edward J. Ramotowski)证实,美国大使馆和领事馆已收到“针对中国某些个人”的新的审查操作指南。
        He did not disclose which areas of study would be subject to additional scrutiny, but The Associated Press has reported that the restrictions focus on robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing — areas where China has pushed to bolster its presence in the global market. The Bureau of Consular Affairs declined to comment on the specifics of the changes.        虽然他没有透露哪些研究领域将受到进一步的审查,但美联社报道称,新的限制主要针对机器人、航空和高技术制造业,中国一直在全球市场上努力扩大自己在这些领域的影响力。领事事务局(Bureau of Consular Affairs)拒绝就这些变化的细节发表评论。
        The American Council on Education has questioned how the policy will be carried out, said Terry Hartle, a senior vice president at the organization. Would someone taking a course in aviation, for example, be vetted the same way as someone majoring in the subject?        美国教育委员会(American Council on Education)对如何实施这项政策一直有疑问,委员会高级副会长特里·哈特尔(Terry Hartle)说。比如,选修一门航空学课程的学生,会受到与主修该专业的学生一样的审查吗?
        “We called the Department of Homeland Security the day it was announced and said, ‘Can we talk about this?’ And they said, ‘Sure, we can, but we’re reading about it the same way you are, so we got to figure it out ourselves,’” he said.        “我们在国土安全部宣布这一政策的当天打电话问他们,‘我们能讨论一下这件事吗?’他们说,‘当然可以,但我们看到的东西跟你们看到的一样,所以我们得自己琢磨这是什么意思,’”哈特尔说。
        With the contours of the policy still unclear, educators and researchers are trying to assess how it will affect the way they work.        由于政策的轮廓仍不清晰,教育工作者和研究人员们正在试图评估政策将如何影响他们的工作方式。
        Trevor Darrell, a director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research laboratory, said that the restrictions would be “a significant and unfortunate inconvenience for many group members,” but that they would not “fundamentally change” the lab’s ability to do research.        伯克利人工智能研究实验室(Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research laboratory)主任特雷弗·达雷尔(Trevor Darrell)说,这些限制措施会“给许多团队成员带来巨大的、令人遗憾的不便”,但不会“从根本上改变”其实验室开展研究的能力。
        Others fear the policy could have a bigger impact.        其他人则担心政策可能产生更大的影响。
        The American science, technology, engineering and math community, particularly at top-tier universities, heavily relies on foreign applicants to bolster its research, said Richard M. Voyles, director of the Purdue Robotics Accelerator.        普渡机器人加速器(Purdue Robotics Accelerator)项目主管理查德·M·沃义尔斯(Richard M. Voyles)说,美国的科学、技术、工程和数学等领域的研究严重依赖外国的申请者,尤其是在一流大学里。
        Finding qualified students to replace the Chinese researchers in his lab would prove particularly challenging, Mr. Voyles said. “I have an extremely hard time getting even one American to apply to my lab,” he said.        沃义尔斯说,找到能取代他实验室里的中国研究人员的合格学生,将是十分困难的。“找到一个申请我实验室的美国人都很困难,”他说。
        But Yangyang Cheng, a Chinese particle physicist and postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University, suspects that more common than researchers being deterred from attending American universities will be researchers returning home soon after earning a degree — a “self-inflicted wound” that only furthers China’s technological and military ambitions.        但是,康奈尔大学(Cornell University)的中国博士后、从事粒子物理研究的程洋洋(音)怀疑,受新政策影响更多的将是在美国获得学位后不久就回国的研究人员,而不是要来美国念书的人,这种“自伤”只会助长中国在技术和军事方面的野心。
        “Home as in still China, because they would see that the U.S. would never see them as one of their own,” Ms. Cheng said, “that they’re spies, guilty until proven innocent.”        “他们的家仍在中国,因为他们会看到,美国永远不会把他们视为自身社会的一员,”程洋洋说,“他们会被视为间谍,被做了有罪推定。”
                
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