Source: NYT (10/13/17)
Fraud Scandals Sap China’s Dream of Becoming a Science Superpower
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By Amy Qin
A plastic surgery procedure at a hospital in Shanghai in August. Under President Xi Jinping, China has set a goal of becoming “a global scientific and technology power” by 2049.CreditChandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
BEIJING — Having conquered world markets and challenged American political and military leadership, China has set its sights on becoming a global powerhouse in a different field: scientific research. It now has more laboratory scientists than any other country, outspends the entire European Union on research and development, and produces more scientific articles than any other nation except the United States.
But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. Since 2012, the country has retracted more scientific papers because of faked peer reviews than all other countries and territories put together, according to Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks and seeks to publicize retractions of research papers. Continue reading
That’s truly low, and petty.
Worse, this kind of petty campaign replicates the awful way in which the Chinese government has even bullied whole countries, like Norway and Spain, separately, for not being “obedient.”
When they use the proverbial method of “killing the chicken to scare the monkey,” one should take note that the bully is not only scaring the “monkeys,” but reducing them to … “monkeys,” without dignity.
Let’s refuse to be those “monkeys,”
Magnus Fiskesjö <email@example.com>
This is not the starting point of the Chinese government’s punishment of UC San Diego. As a Ph.D. student from the Department of History of UCSD, I arrived in China in July to do dissertation research. Most universities in China refused to write letters of introduction to me and my classmates because of the Dalai Lama incident, including those who have official academic affiliations with UCSD. We are having a very difficult time in China, almost impossible to get any archival material below the provincial-level archives.
Yupeng Jiao <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted by Magnus Fiskesjö <email@example.com>
Source: Inside Higher Education (9/20/17)
Is China Punishing a U.S. University for Hosting the Dalai Lama?
Chinese scholars may have more difficulty coming to the University of California, San Diego, after the university invited the Tibetan religious leader to deliver a commencement speech.
By Elizabeth Redden
Is the Chinese government punishing the University of California, San Diego, for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker?
Victor Shih, an associate professor of political economy at UCSD who studies Chinese banking and fiscal policies, posted on Twitter on Saturday an image of a document “regarding questions about government-sponsored study (visit) abroad to UC San Diego.” Shih posted a Chinese-language document — which he said a colleague received directly from the China Scholarship Council — and an English translation suggesting that the agency will no longer process applications for prospective visiting scholars to UCSD who have not already scheduled visa interviews.
“China Scholarship Council puts a freeze on all CSC-funded scholars to @GPS_UCSD, presumably due to Dalai Lama visit,” Shih said on Twitter. Reached via email, he said, “My only comment now is that CSC did not freeze any funding to UCSD, or provide us with any funding in the first place. It seems from the statement that it will freeze funding going to Chinese scholars who wish to be visitors to UCSD.” He did not respond to follow-up messages seeking more information about his sourcing. The chair of UCSD’s 21st Century China Center, Susan Shirk, who was copied on Shih’s email to Inside Higher Ed, did not respond to inquiries. Continue reading
Source: The Guardian (9/14/17)
‘Farewell’: Qiao Mu, dissenting academic, leaves China for US
Friends say Qiao’s decision has come after his academic career was wrecked by refusal to fall into line
By Tom Philips
Since 2014, Qiao had been banished from the classroom, apparently in punishment for his public support for ideas such as democracy. Photograph: James Wasserman/Demotix for The Guardian
Qiao Mu had always insisted he would not be forced to leave China. “We must change our nation, not our nationality,” the outspoken academic told the Guardian over lunch in the summer of 2015.
Last Friday morning, however, Qiao and his family set off for Beijing’s international airport to catch a Boeing 777 bound for the United States.
“I’m leaving my country and I’ll miss it. Farewell,” Qiao, 47, announced on the social messaging service WeChat as he waited to board Air China Flight CA817 to Washington DC. He did not say when, or indeed if, he might return. Continue reading
Source: Shanghaiist (9/12/17)
Maverick history teacher has Weibo account removed days after anniversary of Mao’s death
BY ALEX LINDER
On Monday, a well-known history teacher and government critic had his Weibo account taken down, just a few days after the 41st anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death — a fact which has struck some as being quite the coincidence.
Yuan Tengfei (袁腾飞) rose to national prominence back in 2008 after some of his history lectures were posted online by a Beijing cram school and widely-shared. Yuan’s engaging, humorous teaching-style and the sensitive subject matter that he covered quickly made him into a star among students across China, earning him the moniker of “the most awesome history teacher in history” and turning him into a best-selling author before beginning to interfere with his career prospects. Continue reading
Excellent summing up and excellent recommendations for how universities should face China.–Fwd by Magnus Fiskesjö <firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Financial Review (9/7/17)
Intellectual freedoms challenged by universities uncritical embrace of China
Collaborations between Chinese and Australian universities risk compromising academic freedom and the liberal values of Western higher eduction, writes John Fitzgerald.
By John Fitzgerald
Australian universities risk presenting a weak face to Chinese authorities and an open door to compromised intellectual processes. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Who would have imagined this time last year that international educational co-operation between Australia and China would generate so many headlines in 2017?
In March, Australian academic Feng Chongyi was prevented from leaving Guangzhou and subjected to interrogation. The matter reached the offices of the Australian Prime Minister and the Chinese Premier. In a number of separate incidents, Australian university lecturers have been denounced on Chinese social media for offending the patriotic sensibilities of their students. And in mid-August, an intimidating convoy of luxury sedans slowly toured the campuses of UTS and Sydney University bearing the slogan “Anyone who offends China will be killed …”. Continue reading
Please note the signature campaign, titled “In Defence of Free Speech and Academic Freedom — Support Conscientious Scholar Professor Benny Tai” (捍衛言論及學術自由 支持良心學者戴耀廷) has been launched. A copy of the statement is provided herein for your easy reference. Please visit this link (https://sites.google.com/site/hksaaf/academic-freedom-freedom-of-speech-ch) for details, including the names of initiators and signatories.
Please join and help spread this among your colleagues. This signature campaign targets at local and international academics only instead of students or administrative staff.
Scholars’ Alliance for Academic Freedom
(On behalf of the initiators) Continue reading
Source: Sup China (9/5/17)
Lawrence Kuok: The real Chinese student story — a response to John Pomfret
A response to “Chinese cash at American colleges is a massive problem.”
By Lawrence Kuok
A screenshot from the movie American Dreams in China (中国合伙人)
Ruize came to the U.S. when she was 19. She barely spoke any English and her only ideas of the U.S. were from the TV shows Growing Pains and Knight Rider. She attended Western Washington University as a supply chain management major. While she struggled at the beginning learning an entirely new language and culture, while having new subject matter, she would later become a process consultant for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, where she would be promoted three times in three years. Today, at 29, she is about to matriculate to a top-10 M.B.A. program. As I interviewed her about her story, we first started speaking Chinese, and she was happy to oblige. But alas, even after my 20 years of learning Chinese, working at Microsoft China, working at a startup in Beijing, studying at Peking University, being a mini celebrity from one time competing on the Chinese TV show If You Are the One, and having the advantage of parents from Taiwan and Beijing, it was clear that her English was just far better than my Chinese — so I realized that I had better stick to English if I wanted to keep the pace and fluidity of the conversation. Continue reading
Hi all, please consider signing this boycott petition I just started on Change.org calling for a boycott of peer review service to any non-China-based academic publication that censors content in China. Please also disseminate widely to colleagues and relevant institutions.
For maximum impact, when you sign, please leave the box checked for ‘Display my name and comment on this petition,’ and include your academic affiliation in the comment box for ‘Reason for signing’.
Peer Review Boycott of Academic Publications Censoring Content in China
Thanks for your support!
Charlene Makley <email@example.com>
Professor of Anthropology
Portland, OR USA
Source: Sixth Tone (8/29/17)
Chinese Textbooks Get a Few Shades Redder
Ministry of Education prescribes a full course of patriotism, classics, and revolutionary heroism for China’s young minds.
By Qian Jinghua
Students complete an assignment in Chinese class at a private school for children of migrants in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, Sept. 1, 2004. Lang Congliu/VCG
New liberal arts textbooks will appear on the desks of all first-year primary and middle school students across the country this September — with a fortified dose of patriotic flavor.
Written by the Ministry of Education, the new national editions will replace a number of different versions on the market for three subjects — Chinese language, history, law and ethics — with added focus on traditional culture, revolutionary history, and ideology. Continue reading
Source: NYT (8/24/17)
A Parent Confronts Conformity in the Classrooms of China
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By ALAN PAUL
Lenora Chu CreditMichael D’Ambrosia
An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve
By Lenora Chu
347 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.99.
China is such a vast, contradictory land that the most illuminating books often explore it through an intense focus on a single topic: the aviation industry, the one-child policy, the lives of migrant factory workers. Education is a particularly transparent window, as demonstrated by the perceptive “Little Soldiers,” which turns over cultural rocks from bribery to the urban-rural divide while delving into the nation’s school system, deeply rooted as it is in both ancient Confucianism and Communist dogma. As Lenora Chu notes, in China, “countless individual decisions, big and small, are made in the name of education.” Continue reading
Source: SCMP (8/24/17)
At Beijing book fair, publishers admit to self-censorship to keep texts on Chinese market
Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan are off limits for companies wanting to sell their books in China, publisher says
By Agence France-Presse
Just days after the world’s oldest publisher briefly caved in to Chinese censorship demands, international publishing houses are courting importers at a Beijing book fair, with some admitting they keep sensitive topics off their pages.
The censorship controversy that hit Cambridge University Press (CUP) sent a chill along the stands staffed by publishers from nearly 90 countries at the Beijing International Book Fair, which opened on Wednesday.
But some acknowledged their companies had already resorted to self-censorship to ensure that their books did not offend and were published in China. Continue reading
We are doing a “rerun” of our MOOC on Hong Kong cinema beginning on September 12. This is a great opportunity for your students to participate for free in our online course. If it fits, consider putting it on your syllabus. The students do not need to complete the course or even start at the beginning, so feel free to ask them to drop in for one or two units. They can do all the online activities as well as participate in the forum discussions. If you would like us to do something specifically for your students, please let us know. We can consider special activities or online forum questions to stimulate discussion. Also, if you have any feedback on the MOOC, feel free to share your thoughts with us. We are grateful for your support. Continue reading
Source: Washington Post (8/23/17)
China’s odious manipulation of history is infecting the West
By John Pomfret
A man takes a selfie last year near a picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping on display at an exhibition at the military museum in Beijing. (Andy Wong/Associated Press)
The announcement last week by Cambridge University Press that it had removed some 300 articles from a Chinese website hosting the China Quarterly, one of the premier academic journals on Chinese affairs, is yet another example of an assault on history by the People’s Republic of China. Censorship is a key element in the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy to stay in power. In so doing, it aims, one scholar has written, “to control China’s future by shaping consciousness of its past.”
Cambridge made the decision to block access to these articles after China’s General Administration of Press and Publication threatened to cut access in China to all of the journals published by Cambridge University Press. The offending articles in question appeared in the China Quarterly as far back as 1960 and concerned a range of topics considered sensitive in today’s China. There were pieces on the disastrous famine sparked by the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989, the suppression of the Falun Gong religious sect and the troubled legacy of Mao Zedong. Continue reading