A Chinese company whose $1 billion U.A.E. educational scholarship program has been criticized for recruiting students from poor backgrounds and making it difficult to find qualified applicants has withdrawn all scholarships from American students in a bid to address criticism that it is exploiting the program.
The announcement Wednesday from Education Investment Partners, the largest of the four companies listed on the Hong Kong-based stock exchange, came hours after President-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese goods and demand that Beijing pay for a wall along the U.M.S.-Mexico border.
It was the latest sign of Trump’s administration’s willingness to pursue more aggressive measures against Beijing, which has blocked efforts to ease trade restrictions on its businesses in the South China Sea and elsewhere.
U.S., Chinese trade war threatens U.N. climate change agreement, Trump warnsChina has blocked U.
Ns efforts to ratify the Paris climate change deal, citing the countrys role in building the U.,N.
greenhouse gas emissions-cutting targets.
Trump’s vow to impose tariff measures on Chinese products comes as he meets with leaders from 10 nations on Thursday in a summit on climate change and other issues.
The Education Investment Partnership was founded in 2014 by a group of Chinese billionaires with close ties to President Xi Jinping, according to its website.
It offers a variety of scholarships to Chinese students and is part of a Chinese education industry that has grown to more than $2 billion in annual revenue and is valued at more than a billion dollars, according a 2014 report by the Chinese government-backed Global Education Fund.
The company said it would end the scholarships in 2018, but not all of the scholarships will be revoked, as some have been.
China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, responsible for nearly a third of the worlds total carbon emissions, according the U,N.
and World Bank.
Education Investment Partners said it has withdrawn scholarships for a total of 1,600 students who have applied to attend its schools in the U.-A.
Es., but it did not say how many were still eligible for the scholarship.
It also said it was removing all other scholarships.
The U.L.C.I.C., a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged students attend U.P.s, has said the program has received nearly half a billion dollar in funding and that it was underfunded by nearly $500 million, but it is unclear how many students attended the schools in question.
A spokesman for the U-A.B.I., the U.’s largest student group, said the Education Investment partnership had not provided a satisfactory explanation of how it could be expected to provide such generous scholarships to students who are in need.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing that the country does not support and does not endorse any form of discriminatory recruitment and recruitment of foreign students.