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Adam Minter

Decline in Chinese Students in the US Is a Bad Sign

Polls in China show that younger people — those born in the 1990s and later — have a more negative image of America than their parents do.

What’s wrong with belonging?

What’s wrong with belonging?

Photographer: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

China's ambitious students and their parents once dreamed of acquiring an American university education. Now that dream is dying.

During the first half of 2022, US student visas issued to Chinese nationals plummeted more than 50% compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to a Thursday report in the Wall Street Journal. The US isn't directly limiting the number of visas. Rather, China's Covid restrictions, combined with the increasingly unfavorable opinion of the US held by younger people, are giving the Chinese second thoughts about a US education.