US President Donald Trump said he wanted more Chinese students to go to the United States as concern grows about Chinese scholars in American academia. “We want to have Chinese students [go] to our great schools and great universities. They are great students and tremendous assets,” Trump said on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday. Trump said “someone” had said it was harder for Chinese students to go to the US under his immigration policy. “If it were, that somebody viewed it that way, I don’t,” Trump said, adding that students from China should be treated “just like anybody else”. He said his administration was looking for a new way – a “smart person’s waiver” – to allow successful overseas university students to remain in the United States more easily after graduation. “So they can not only stay but maybe they have access to a green card. We want to keep these people here,” Trump said. Yale University chief stakes support for international students amid China-US academic visa turmoil Chinese state media said that earlier in the day during their bilateral meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Trump that the US should “treat Chinese companies and Chinese students in a fair way to ensure the normal cooperation in trade and investment as well as normal communication of the people between the two countries”. Fears of growing hostility to Chinese academics and students working and studying in the US have deepened after some scholars complained about scrutiny from the US government over their ties to Beijing. In May, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, said it had removed two Chinese-American professors with the department of human genetics, Li Xiaojiang and his wife, Li Shihua, for failing to disclosing their ties to institutions in China, an accusation the couple denied. Some scholars in China also said that their 10-year multiple-entry visas to the US had been revoked by US authorities without explanation. Chinese studying in US become ‘political cannon fodder’ as visa process tightens amid feud And earlier this month, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a warning on the risks of studying in the US, citing a soaring number of visa rejections. Miao Lu, secretary general of the Centre for China and Globalisation, a Beijing-based think tank, said Trump’s comments could ease concerns over the increasingly unfriendly academic and job environment in the US, though the suspicions would not be dispelled overnight. “The US is still the biggest destination for Chinese students, and US higher education has been best known for its openness and tolerance,” Miao said. “I think it’s very good news, especially when many people were worried that the trade war between China and the US would escalate into a tech war and eventually a talent war. “We can’t expect that the visa restrictions or the comments against Chinese students and scholars will disappear quickly, but such an intense atmosphere can definitely be eased.” No China-US cold war but visa freeze puts mutual insight on ice National Public Radio reported on Friday that US intelligence agencies, including the FBI, were encouraging American research universities to develop protocols for monitoring students and visiting scholars from Chinese state-affiliated research institutions. But last week, MIT president L. Rafael Reif publicly warned of the risk of justified concerns about “academic espionage” in service of the Chinese government morphing into “a toxic atmosphere of unfounded suspicion and fear”.