Emily Feng

University administrators say the FBI, whose headquarters are shown above, has urged them to monitor some Chinese students and scholars.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

China and the United States are locked in a trade fight, a technology race and competing world military strategies. Leaders of these countries seem to be pulling the world's two largest economies apart.

These tensions are especially felt by those living with a foot in each country. The NPR special series A Foot In Two Worlds reveals the stories of people affected because of their ties to both nations. Reports from both the U.S. and China show how deeply and broadly the two nations are connected and what's at stake as they reshape their relations.

A Trump administration decision to restrict the sale of U.S. technology to Chinese telecommunications company Huawei will disrupt global supply chains, say analysts, ramping up pressure on U.S. allies reluctant to join in efforts to shut out Huawei from advanced 5G mobile networks.

For the last 15 years, Addgene has dedicated itself to accelerating medical research. The nonprofit in Watertown, Mass., does so by sharing research materials globally, like chromosomal DNA, used in the search for breakthrough medical cures.

That could soon change.

Wang Wen proudly says that he has been to over 20 U.S. states. He flies between the U.S. and China every few months for his job as director of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, a university think tank in Beijing.

At least he did until a few weeks ago, when he received an email from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. His 10-year U.S. business visa had been abruptly canceled with no explanation. He was told he could apply for a single-entry business visa instead, if he was able to list his last 15 years of travel history.

China is remarkably successful at scrubbing its Internet of social dissent. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked ever since deadly ethnic riots in 2009. Chinese social media platforms employ armies of internal censors to take down posts, images and even emoji.

But this month, coordinated dissent has popped up in an unexpected place: GitHub, the world's largest open-source site that lets programmers collaborate on code. (GitHub is owned by Microsoft, which is an NPR funder.)