What happened: On Tuesday, Republican members of Congress introduced legislation that could ban those working for or sponsored by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from receiving visas to study or conduct research in the US. The bill would entail categorizing science and engineering organizations with ties to the PLA; anyone associated with these institutions would be denied student or research visas.
Why it’s important: The news follows announcements of an escalation in tariffs after months of back-and-forth in the China-US trade war. It also falls in line with some US lawmakers’ longstanding accusations of intellectual property theft and industrial espionage by Chinese citizens, which helped kick off trade tensions to begin with. While it’s unclear whether the legislation will be passed, it certainly sends a message on behalf of some US Republicans, and further hints that the tiff over tariffs will be long and drawn out.