Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Antoine Snijders (R) experiments with China's Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital researcher Wang Pin in San Francisco, the United States, on Jan. 11, 2017. (Xinhua/Berkeley Lab)

BEIJING (Xinhua) — American scientists have expressed concerns about their government’s crackdown on foreign interference at universities, which may drive away scientists of Chinese descent, according to a report by British journal Nature.

The research community has been feeling the consequences of political tensions between Washington and Beijing, with many U.S. researchers with ties to China being investigated, the article wrote.

Scientists told the journal that they know of ethnic Chinese colleagues who have left the United States because they felt “nervous and unsafe.”

Researchers work at the lab of the contract research organization (CRO) Frontage in Chester County in Pennsylvania, the United States, July 9, 2018. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

“They’re worried their lives will be ruined for no good reason,” said Frank Wu, president of Queen’s College in New York.

Alice Huang, a biologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said she knows of four ethnic Chinese researchers who are U.S. citizens and have left the country over the past two years.

There have been increasing reports on probes or arrests involving scientists of Chinese descent by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, raising doubts over the agency’s claim that it does not conduct investigations based solely on race, ethnicity or national origin.