Professors, Beware

Javier Hernandez in the New York Times writes:

“Everyone feels they are in danger,” said You Shengdong, an economics professor at Xiamen University in eastern China who was fired last year after students denounced him for criticizing one of the favorite propaganda slogans of Xi.

“How do we progress?” You asked, “how can we produce inventions in this environment?”

Universities are running ads that recruit students to spy on their teachers, with the goal of having one in each classroom. It has created a chilling effect that some have compared to the ideological purification campaigns of the Cultural Revolution of a decade, in which radical students attacked Mao’s perceived enemies.

My sense is that these types of stories are increasing in the American press.

If true, these news stories will make it harder for American universities to do joint programs in China. Wesleyan is an example.

Sept 24, 2019: We might open a campus in China.

Oct 1, 2019: Pushback.

Oct 21, 2019: Protest on campus. Interestingly: Hong Kong connection. I wonder if the protest happens without the HK issues.

Oct 24, 2019: Forget it. We won’t pursue this.