More than 4,000 signatures had been collected by Monday on the White House petition website, urging U.S. President Donald Trump to apologize for reportedly saying "almost every student that comes over to this country is a spy."
Chinese students account for 32.5 percent of total overseas students in the U.S., more than any other country for eight consecutive years, according to a white paper issued by education agency MentorX in June.
More than 350,000 Chinese students studied in the U.S. last year, a 6.8 percent year on year growth.
Chinese students contributed $12.55 billion to the U.S. last year, the white paper said.
Chinese observers condemned the president's fear-mongering comments as "regrettably irrational" and dangerous to the Chinese community residing or studying in the U.S..
United Chinese Americans (UCA), a federation of Chinese-American organizations from all across the U.S., issued a statement on Thursday denouncing Trump's "wrongheaded and un-American" remarks.
UCA called the comments "unjustified" and "deeply offensive" and called on the White House to clarify the president's disparagement of Chinese students.
The White House has yet to comment on Trump's statement.
Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's institute of international relations, said the event reflects not only the top U.S. leader's individual discriminative opinion but also the policymaking elites' common voice against China and Chinese people.
Such irrational comments, especially from a U.S. leader, will aggravate U.S. society's fear of China and the Chinese people and endanger the Chinese community in the U.S., Li told the Global Times on Monday.
Li warned that the U.S. under its irrational leadership is losing its competitiveness as a major innovation center capable of attracting worldwide talent.
"I'm worried if my child would be captured by the U.S. just because they suspect he is a spy," one Beijing mother with a child planning on U.S. study told the Global Times on Monday. She refused to be named.