The censorship effect of Hong Kong’s security law at elite American universities
The effect of the new national security law that China has imposed on Hong Kong has reached US university campuses. Classes at some elite universities will have a warning this fall: “This course may contain material that is considered politically sensitive by China”
Some of the most reputable universities in the United States are planning measures to protect students and faculty from possible lawsuits by Chinese authorities, reports an article in The Wall Street Journal. The issue has become particularly urgent because at least the first semester at many American universities will be filled with online classes, in most. That is, some students from China and Hong Kong will connect with their North American colleagues through video platforms like Zoom.
Nearly 370,000 Chinese students and around 7,000 from Hong Kong enrolled in U.S. universities in the 2018-19 academic year. Many of them chose Chinese Political Legislation and Culture chairs because they want to learn more about their country. At Princeton University, for example, students in the Chinese Politics chain will sign their work with codes instead of their names, in order to protect their identities.
“We cannot practice self-censorship,” Rory Truex, an assistant professor who teaches Chinese politics at Princeton, told The Wall Street Journal. “If we, as a teaching community of Chinese education, out of fear, stop discussing topics like Tiananmen or Xinjiang or any other sensitive topic for the Chinese government, then we will be lost.” Your chair will now have a notice on the pages that “sensitive issues” for Beijing will be discussed there.
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