The U.S. visa restriction on Chinese students and researchers severely undermined their legitimate rights and interests, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday.
The U.S. side's latest action under an abused concept of national security and flimsy excuses "runs counter to the common aspiration for friendly people-to-people, especially youth-to-youth exchange," as Chinese students and researchers have been an important bond of friendship and bridge for scientific and educational exchange between Chinese and American people, Zhao said.
He made the remarks at a press briefing in response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement on Monday, in which he said the U.S. side would not tolerate China's attempts to illegally acquire technology and intellectual property from U.S. academic institutions and research facilities for Chinese military ends.
"Mr. Pompeo is used to weaving lies as excuses for his wrongdoing, and his statement on this issue is no exception," Zhao said.
"Taking a backward step like this will only bring harm to oneself and others," he said.