Tag Archives: Visa

Are Chinese Students Being Harassed + Banned From US?

Are Chinese students being harassed by US government, with some having their visas revoked and given a 5-year ban?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Chinese Students Are Being Harassed + Banned From US!

CCP supporters, as well as the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), are sharing and promoting a video, which claims that Chinese students trying to enter the United States are being harassed, with some having their visas revoked and given a 5-year ban!

Here is a transcript of what was said, or posted, in the viral video, which may be AI-generated:

Can China-US Student Exchanges Survive Geopolitics?

Chinese reporter : Do you think Chinese students are spies?

US Ambassador to China : Chinese students are welcome in the United States.

But the harsh reality endured by Chinese students is the opposite of welcoming.

The Chinese embassy in the US has exposed a story illustrating how US border control officials systematically harass Chinese students. Extensive checks on every electronic device.

A Yale PHD candidate recently endured an 8-hour interrogation as authorities probed his study connection with the Chinese government. Despite finding no evidence, they revoked his student visa anyway for five years.

And Canada is not better, as the Canadian Federal Court has stretched the definition of espionage out so far that, in its application, a Chinese student has been barred from entering Canada simply because his field of study is microfluids, a promising high-tech field in health.

If you are a Chinese student who studies abroad in a field of innovation, the sad fact is you risk being called a spy.

Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric that you are entering a “free society”. You are entering an anti-China society.

Recommended : Joe Biden Caught Receiving Laundered Chinese Money?!

 

Truth : US Is Blocking Entry To Chinese Students With PLA Links

This appears to be yet another example of PROPAGANDA created or promoted by CCP supporters and/or the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Not All Chinese People Live In China

First, let me just point out that there are people of Chinese ethnicity all over the world, many in Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia; as well as Western countries like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

There are also millions of Chinese people living in the Republic of China – Taiwan, which is not governed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that is controlling mainland China.

To be clear – the video is referring only to students from the People’s Republic of China, and not Chinese students from other countries.

Fact #2 : China Still Sends The Most Students To US

I should also point out that, even in 2023, students from China continue to be the largest group of foreign students pursuing education in the United States.

The US State Department granted more than 600,000 international student visas in the 2023 fiscal year, of which 289,526 visas were awarded to students from China (source).

In other words, the statistics belie the claim that the United States isn’t welcoming students from China. The vast majority of students from China do not have any issue entering the United States.

Fact #3 : It Was Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Complaint

Although the video claimed that the Chinese embassy in the US “exposed” the story, I cannot find any evidence of that. Instead, it appears that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin first spoke about it during a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday, 4 January 2024.

That was later posted (archive) on the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affair’s official page on X (formerly Twitter). The Chinese Embassy in US then shared the short statement, with a comment the next day – 5 January 2024 (archive):

Recommended : Chinese Nuclear Plants Release More Tritium Than Fukushima?!

Fact #4 : Presidential Proclamation 10043 Blocks PLA-Associated Students

What the viral video does not mention is that these few students were interrogated on entry, and then blocked or banned from entering the United States, because they were deemed to be associated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

On 29 May 2020, then President Donald Trump issued Presidential Proclamation 10043 (PDF), which prohibits students from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from obtaining F visas, or J visas, if they are associated with the People’s Liberation Army.

It was issued at that time because the US government determined that the PRC was using “some Chinese students, mostly post-graduate students and post-doctorate researchers, to operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property“, in particular those who “are or have been associated with the PLA“.

In September 2020, more than 1,000 Chinese students had their visas cancelled by Presidential Proclamation 10043. Regardless of the merits of this Presidential Proclamation, it is limited to a relatively small number of students from China, who have been determined to have some association with the PLA.

Fact #5 : Visas Can Be Revoked At Any Time

Even though these postgraduate students have a valid student visa, it can be revoked at any time, even upon entry into the United States, as stated in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act:

After the issuance of a visa or other documentation to any alien, the consular officer or the Secretary of State may at any time, in his discretion, revoke such visa or other documentation. Notice of such revocation shall be communicated to the Attorney General, and such revocation shall invalidate the visa or other documentation from the date of issuance… There shall be no means of judicial review …

This isn’t a uniquely American law either. Other countries, including China, retain the right to revoke any visas they may have issued, at any time they wish.

Brief Introduction of Visa for China (Mainland Only)
2023-05-14 20:19

In accordance with international law and practice, any sovereign state is entitled to decide on whether or not to allow a foreign citizen to enter or exit from its territory, and whether to issue a visa, decline a visa application or to cancel an issued visa in accordance with its national laws.

Chinese consular officials are entitled to decide on the type, number of entries, validity and duration of each stay of a visa to be issued based on Chinese laws and regulations. Consular officials reserve the right to decline a visa application or revoke an issued visa.

Recommended : EU + Japan Have Secret Agreement To Re-Export Seafood?!

Fact #6 : US Conducts Warrantless Search At Border

Sadly, the US constitutional rights against “unreasonable searches and seizures” stops at the border. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has broad authority to search and seize electronic devices at the border.

That’s because the US Supreme Court has concluded that “routine” border searches are “not subject to any requirement of reasonable suspicion, probably cause, or warrant‘ (source).

This isn’t limited to students from China, or even foreigners as a whole. The power to search electronic devices at the border also extends to US citizens and permanent residents!

Fact #7 : West Has More Freedom Than China

The truth is these visa woes affect only a small percentage of students from China, in particular postgraduate students who have some kind of association with the People’s Liberation Army.

This does not mean that Western countries have less freedom than China – a notably authoritarian country with severe censorship and restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Never mind the right to criticise their leaders, people in China don’t even have freedom to access YouTube or Facebook or Instagram!

So it is truly laughable that anyone would use this student visa restriction as “evidence” that Western countries are not a “free society”. Being a “free society” does not mean having an “open border”.

Recommended : China Unveils New Incentives For Wumao + CCP Uncles!

Fact #8 : This Is Just CCP Propaganda

This is just ultimately just another example of CCP propaganda, created / spread by pro-CCP supporters and the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛). Here are other examples:

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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China Visa-Free Travel For 6 Countries Starts Tomorrow!

From tomorrow onwards, citizens from 6 countries will start enjoying visa-free travel to China for 15 days! Here is what you need to know!

 

China Offers Visa-Free Travel For 6 New Countries!

China will start offering visa-free travel to 6 additional countries on a trial basis, starting on 1 December 2023.

On Friday, 24 November 2023, China announced that citizens from these 6 countries will enjoy visa-free travel for up to 15 days:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Malaysia

These six countries will join Singapore, Japan, and Brunei, whose citizens already enjoy visa-free travel to China for up to 15 days.

According to Chinese government spokesperson Mao Ning, China has taken this step to help “promote the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and high-level opening up to the outside world“.

This visa-free travel for those 6 countries, however, is a trial that will last from 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2024. This trial program may or may not be extended after that.

Recommended : 2024 Public + School Holidays For Malaysia!

 

China Visa-Free Travel To Hopefully Revive Tourism

Travellers to China are generally required to apply for a visa. China is hoping that offering visa-free travel to certain favoured countries will help to revive its tourism industry that has been hard-hit by strict COVID-19 measures in the past 3 years.

China had the world’s strictest COVID-19 measures, maintaining them long after the rest of the world reopened. Even when the Chinese government decided to reopen its borders, it required inbound travellers to quarantine, which discouraged travel

It was only in March 2023 that China began issuing all types of travel visas again, and in July that it restored the 15-day visa-free travel for Singapore, Japan and Brunei. In August, China finally scrapped all COVID-19 test requirements for inbound travellers.

With visa-free travel removing the onerous application for a Chinese travel visa, it is likely that there will be tourists and business visitors who will take opportunity of the one-year trial to visit China. The only question is whether it is a surge, or merely a tiny bump.

After all, potential travellers would need to worry about the lack of access to essential apps like Google Maps, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. as well as popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. There is also the risk of being detained in China, and prevented from returning home.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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China Announces Visa-Free Travel For 6 Countries!

China just announced that citizens from 6 countries will enjoy visa-free travel for 15 days! Here is what you need to know!

 

China : Visa-Free Travel For 6 Countries!

On Friday, 24 November 2023, China announced that citizens from these 6 countries will enjoy visa-free travel for up to 15 days:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Malaysia

These six countries will join Singapore, Japan and Brunei, whose citizens already enjoy visa-free travel to China for up to 15 days.

According to Chinese government spokesperson Mao Ning, China has taken this step to help “promote the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and high-level opening up to the outside world“.

This visa-free travel for those 6 countries, however, is a trial that will last from 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2024. This trial program may or may not be extended after that.

Recommended : 2024 Public + School Holidays For Malaysia!

Travellers to China are generally required to apply for a visa. China appears to be trying out this visa-free travel option to revive its tourism industry that has been hard-hit by strict COVID-19 measures in the past 3 years.

China had the world’s strictest COVID-19 measures, maintaining them long after the rest of the world reopened. Even when the Chinese government decided to reopen its borders, it required inbound travellers to quarantine, which discouraged travel

It was only in March 2023 that China began issuing all types of travel visas again, and in July that it restored the 15-day visa-free travel for Singapore, Japan and Brunei. In August, China finally scrapped all COVID-19 test requirements for inbound travellers.

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Travellers To Europe Must Apply + Pay For ETIAS From 2023!

It’s official – travellers to Europe must start applying and paying for ETIAS from 2023! Here is what you need to know…

 

Travellers To Europe Must Apply For ETIAS From 2023!

The European Commission has just announced the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) for all travellers to the Schengen States.

Slated to start in May 2023, ETIAS is meant to “identify security, irregular migration or high epidemic risks” amongst visa-exempt travellers.

EU travellers are exempt from ETIAS, and will continue to have freedom of movement throughout the EU, and the freedom to spend as much time as they want in any state in the Schengen zone.

ETIAS will only be obligatory for travellers from countries that currently do not require a visa to travel to the EU – about 60 countries including the US and the UK.

Travellers who currently need a visa to enter the EU will still need to apply for a visa. They will not be allowed to use ETIAS.

 

How Does ETIAS Work For Travellers To Europe?

Travellers will need to apply for ETIAS through a “largely automated IT system”, with approval granted “within minutes” for about 95% of applicants. But that could drag out to a month for “very exceptional cases”. Those who have their application denied will be allowed to appeal.

While applying for ETIAS will be quicker, done online, and requires no biometric information, there is a cost attached.

Every traveller aged 18 to 70 will need to pay an ETIAS fee of €7 (about US$7.40, £6, A$10.60, S$10.20, RM32.50). It is currently unknown if ETIAS will be free or cheaper for other age groups.

Applicants will be required to submit their data in the online application, which is said to take only “10 minutes” :

  • Unspecified personal data
  • Travel document (passport or equivalent document)
  • Member State of first intended stay
  • Background questions relating to previous criminal records, presence in conflict zones, orders to leave the territory of a Member State or third countries, return decisions issued.
  • Identity of the person / company assisting the applicant in the application process (if necessary)

The ETIAS system will automatically check the information provided against several EU databases, and approve or transfer it to ETIAS National Units for manual processing.

Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for 3 years, or until the expiry date of the passport. So if possible, travellers should definitely renew their passports before applying.

But note that the ETIAS can be revoked at any time, if the conditions for that travel authorisation are no longer met by the applicant.

 

ETIAS : Selected FAQs

Here are selected FAQs on the European Travel Information and Authorisation System for those who want to learn more.

What is the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure.

Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. Only in very exceptional cases, could the ETIAS procedure take up to 30 days. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

Read more : EU Digital COVID Certificate : A Comedy Of Errors!

What will visa-exempt travellers have to do before their travel?

Travellers will have to complete an online application via a dedicated website or an application for mobile devices. Filling in the application should not take more than 10 minutes and should not require any documentation beyond a travel document (a passport or other equivalent document). In case of an inability to apply (due to age, literacy level, access to and competence on information technology etc.) applications may be submitted by a third person.

An electronic payment of a €7 fee for each application will be required for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70. The electronic payment methods will take into account technological advancements in the visa-free countries in order to avoid hindering visa-free third country nationals who may not have access to certain payment means.

The automated assessment process will start after the fee collection is confirmed. The vast majority of applicants (expected to be more than 95% of all cases) will be given automated approval which will be communicated to them within minutes of payment. If there is a hit against any of the searched databases or an undecided outcome of the automated process, manual handling of the application will take place by a Central Unit in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency or by a Member State team. This can prolong the response time to the visa-exempt third country national by up to 96 hours. In very exceptional circumstances further information may be asked of applicants and further procedural steps may be necessary, but in all cases a final decision shall be taken within four weeks of their application.

Of the roughly 5% of applications which produce a hit, it is expected that 3-4% will receive a positive decision after ETIAS Central Unit verifies the data, with the remaining 1-2% being transferred to ETIAS National Units for manual processing. After the decision applicants will be given a response by email with a valid travel authorisation, or a justification for the refusal.

Read more : EU Officially Accepts Malaysia’s Digital COVID Certificate!

What happens if a person has been refused travel authorisation from ETIAS?

If the travel authorisation is refused, the applicant retains the right to appeal. Appeals can be launched in the Member State that has taken the decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State. The applicant will be informed which national authority is responsible for the processing and decision on his or her travel authorisation, as well as information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal. If the traveller considers their treatment to have been unfair, he/she is also given the right to seek redress or request access to the information through the national authority.

What is the validity of an ETIAS travel authorisation?

The validity of the travel authorisation will be three years (or until the expiry date of the travel document).

What are the obligations for the carriers?

Prior to boarding, air and sea carriers, as well as carriers transporting groups overland by coach will have to verify the status of the travel document required for entering the Schengen Area, including the requirement to hold a valid ETIAS travel authorisation. A transitional period is foreseen for carriers transporting groups overland by coach during which it will not be obligatory for them to check the presence of a valid travel authorisation.

What will happen at the border crossing point? 

Upon arrival at a Schengen area border crossing point, the border guard will electronically read the travel document data, thereby triggering a query to different databases, including a query to ETIAS in the case of visa-exempt travellers. If there is no valid ETIAS travel authorisation, the border guards will refuse entry and record the traveller and the refusal of entry in the Entry Exit System.

If there is a valid travel authorisation, the border control process will be conducted and the traveller may be authorised to enter the Schengen area if all entry conditions are fulfilled or refused access as provided by the Schengen Border Code.

Read more : EU Air Travel : Face Mask + Physical Distancing Not Required!

What databases will be checked by ETIAS?

When verifying and assessing the information submitted by visa-exempt travellers, the system will automatically cross-check each application against: 

A. the existing EU information systems:

  • the Schengen Information System (SIS),
  • the Visa Information System (VIS),
  • Europol data,
  • the Eurodac database (once the Eurodac recast is in place),

B. future EU information systems:

  • the Entry/Exit System (EES), 

C. Interpol databases:

  • the Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Document database (SLTD),
  • the Interpol Travel Documents Associated with Notices database (TDAWN),

D. a dedicated ETIAS watch list and specific risk indicators.

Read more : Air Travel To Malaysia : Latest Covid-19 Requirements + SOP!

How will ETIAS ensure and guarantee the respect for fundamental rights and data protection?

Personal data recorded in ETIAS will not be kept for longer than is necessary for its purpose. Data shall be stored for: 

  • the period of validity of the travel authorisation or, 
  • five years from the last decision to refuse, revoke or annul the travel authorisation. 

The data could be stored for an additional period of no more than three years after the end of the period of validity of the travel authorisation if the applicant freely and explicitly consents to keep his or her data longer. After the expiry of the data retention period, the application file and personal data will be automatically deleted from the ETIAS Central System. 

Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol will have access to ETIAS, under strictly-defined conditions, for the prevention, detection or investigation of terrorist offences or other serious criminal offences. The designated authorities and Europol should only request access to ETIAS when they have reasonable grounds to believe that such access will substantially help them in carrying out their duties. 

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Trend Micro : Next Gen Payment Technologies

18 March 2016 – Since the boom of e-commerce, credit cards have been the target of many cybercriminals who have designed many malware and phishing schemes to steal banking credentials. The numerous threats that have preyed on the traditional credit card payment system, coupled with new technology, has led to the development of different payment processing technologies that not only allow for more convenient transactions, but also ones that are more secured.

Trend Micro Incorporated released its annual security roundup report, “Setting the Stage: Landscape Shifts Dictate Future Threat Response Strategies,” which dissects the most significant security incidents from 2015. Mobile devices continued being hotbeds for cybercriminals looking to exploit security flaws.

Mobile payments may be convenient for people armed with smartphones that support it, especially right now with the arrival of Visa Checkout in Malaysia that allows you to pay easily on across all your devices but the problem with using popular technology is that threats are always sure to follow, the same way they did with cloud computing and the Android platform.

“What both MasterCard and Visa are trying to do here is consolidate the payment activity that they’re doing online so they have a chance to inject a bit of extra security,” says Eric Skinner, Vice President of Solutions Marketing, Trend Micro Inc. “It’s a great opportunity for them to do more fraud protection and reinforce a more controlled checkout process.”

The attack on mobile devices can range from:

  • Forcing a device’s system to go on endless reboot, draining its battery.
  • Rendering Android devices silent and unable to make calls due to unresponsive screens.
  • Exposing a device’s memory content.
  • Giving hackers the ability to replace legitimate apps with malicious versions in order to steal information from the user.

 

Next Gen Payment Technologies

  • EMV Credit Cards – Also called Chip-and-PIN cards, these cards feature a chip that stores a cryptogram that detects modified transactions. It also requires a PIN for extra authentication.
  • Contactless RFID Credit Cards – This payment technology uses passive Radio Frequency Identification that allows cardholders to wave the cards in front of RF terminals to complete transactions.
  • [adrotate group=”2″]Mobile Wallets – First launched in Japan in 2004, this technology works on NFC enabled smartphones, and has since been implemented by Google and Apple through their mobile platforms.
    • Apple Pay
    • Android Pay
  • New Payment Processing Architectures – three next gen payment architectures designed to improve secure mobile payments.
    • Encryption and tokenization
    • Cloud-based PoS systems
    •  Secure Element systems.

Since personal mobile devices are heavily used in the enterprise setting, it is important for corporate data to never reside in them. But this would be impractical given the need for employee mobility. Enterprises hoping to keep confidential data within their own servers can invest in virtual mobile infrastructure.

A solution like this allows employees to access company files and records without ever having to save the data on their physical gadget. In case an employee device ever gets rendered useless by mobile exploits or compromised by malware, the data remains separate and intact.

Enable your users to safely leverage mobile technology for their work. Mobile Security Solutions from Trend Micro will help you find the balance between empowering mobile employees to be more productive, and protecting their sensitive information. Accomplish both without incurring the expense and time of deploying multiple new applications.

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