Universities become battlegrounds

Source: SCMP (11/13/19)
High Court denies injunction sought by Chinese University student leader to bar Hong Kong police from campus after days of clashes with protesters
Jacky So files for temporary injunction after CUHK was the site of clashes between protesters and riot police that led to 119 people being injured. But court dismisses bid, with lawyer arguing that criminals could hide on campus if police did not have a warrant to enter
By Tony Cheung

[See also: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3037454/hong-kong-anti-government-protests-pitched-battles-campuses and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/13/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-students.html]

Clashes erupt on Tuesday between anti-government protesters and riot police on the campus of Chinese University. Photo: Winson Wong

Clashes erupt on Tuesday between anti-government protesters and riot police on the campus of Chinese University. Photo: Winson Wong

A Hong Kong court has dismissed an urgent injunction application by a Chinese University student leader to bar unauthorised police from campus after the school became a battleground for anti-government protesters and the authorities.

Jacky So Tsun-fung, the CUHK student union president, filed an application on Wednesday for the temporary injunction to the High Court after his school was the site of a tense stand-off between protesters and riot police that started on Monday and led to 119 people being injured.

The court heard that protesters stalled public transport for two days by throwing objects from a No. 2 Bridge above a highway and the MTR East Rail line. Riot police arriving at the bridge were brought to a standstill by protesters who hurled petrol bombs at the officers. Continue reading

Charles University mired in Chinese influence scandal

Source: Financial Times (11/11/19)
Czech university mired in Chinese influence scandal
Secret payments to academics renew concerns about Beijing’s encroachment
By Kathrin Hille in Taipei and James Shotter in Warsaw

CRBMF1 Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Europe

The controversy at the university comes as politicians, civil society groups and academics are pushing back against their country’s alignment with China © Alamy

Prague’s Charles University is being shaken by a scandal over secret Chinese payments to four of its faculty members, amid concerns that Beijing could use its ties with some Czech politicians to build influence in academia.

The university, one of the world’s oldest academic institutions, fired Milos Balaban, until recently head of the university’s Centre for Security Policy (SBP), and two other members of the social sciences faculty last week. The move came after the school discovered they had set up a private company under the name of SBP which was paid by the Chinese embassy for conferences co-organised by the university centre. Continue reading

Beijing asks Chinese students to leave Taiwan

Source: Taiwan News (11/10/19)
Beijing asks Chinese students to leave Taiwan before presidential election: report
Message spreading among Chinese students and their parents
By Teng Pei-ju, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taiwanese cast their votes.

Taiwanese cast their votes. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Beijing has reportedly asked Chinese students to leave Taiwan before the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January 11, even though some students have said they would rather stay on the island to observe the voting process themselves.

A Chinese municipal government office that handles the affairs of local residents with children studying in Taiwan has announced that students are advised to return to China before January 11, according to a screenshot sent by a parent to Apple Daily on Saturday (Nov. 9). The message does not provide an explanation, but many believe it is meant to prevent Chinese students from staying in the country while the Taiwanese electorate casts its ballot for the next leader of the country. Continue reading

British report warns of Chinese govt influence on UK campuses

Source: The Independent (11/5/19)
Chinese government confiscating papers and getting events cancelled at British universities, MPs’ report warns
Battle to recruit students must not outweigh ‘risks’ to academic freedom, MPs say
By Eleanor Busby and Kim Sengupta

Papers have been confiscated and events cancelled at British universities as a direct result of interference from Chinese officials, a report by an influential committee of MPs has warned.

An employee of a Russian government-sponsored body also allegedly planted a bugging device to record an academic discussion in the UK, the Foreign Affairs Committee report claims.

Authorities in Britain are not doing enough to protect academic freedom from financial, political and diplomatic pressures from autocratic states, it concludes, adding that the government has “failed” to consider the threat posed by the likes of China and Russia, and that guidance warning universities of potential risks is “non-existent”.

The report warns that the battle to recruit more students and increase funding should not outweigh “serious risks” to academic freedom. Continue reading

HK campuses as political battlefields

Source: SCMP (10/30/19)
Hong Kong university chiefs caught in crossfire as protest tensions risk turning campuses into political battlefields
Backing protesters risks offending authorities; condemning violence will anger students. Students attend lectures dressed in black, equipped to go directly to protests if needed.
By Chris Lau and Gigi Choy

Students make up about a fifth of the 2,711 people arrested over protests since June. Illustration: Perry Tse

Students make up about a fifth of the 2,711 people arrested over protests since June. Illustration: Perry Tse

Chinese University vice-chancellor Rocky Tuan Sung-chi found himself surrounded by his students, some dressed in black, some masked, many upset and in tears.

They demanded that he and the university condemn police brutality in Hong Kong’s ongoing anti-government protests, now in their fifth month. Some called him “a disgrace to Chinese University” for staying silent, while others pointed laser beams at him.

The October 10 meeting took a dramatic turn when a female student whipped off her mask and claimed she was sexually abused while in police custody after being arrested at a protest.

He found himself under fresh attack immediately. Continue reading

Professors, beware

Source: NYT (11/1/19)
Professors, Beware. A ‘Student Information Officer’ Might Be Watching
阅读简体中文版阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版閱讀繁體中文版
By Javier C. Hernández

You Shengdong, a professor, was fired by a university in China last year after students reported him for questioning a political slogan favored by Xi Jinping, the country’s leader. Credit: Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

CHENGDU, China — With a neon-red backpack and white Adidas shoes, he looks like any other undergraduate on the campus of Sichuan University in southwestern China.

But Peng Wei, a 21-year-old chemistry major, has a special mission: He is both student and spy.

Mr. Peng is one of a growing number of “student information officers” who keep tabs on their professors’ ideological views. They are there to help root out teachers who show any sign of disloyalty to President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party.

“It’s our duty to make sure that the learning environment is pure,” Mr. Peng said, “and that professors are following the rules.” Continue reading

HK Protests Spread to US Colleges (1)

In response to the NYT’s piece “HK Protests Spread to US Colleges,” a list member suggests that it might useful to remind mainland students who seek to suppress the freedom of expression of Hong Kongers of the rights enshrined in the PRC constitution.

CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA 中华人民共和国宪法:

CHAPTER II. Fundamental Rights & Duties of Citizens (第二章 公民的基本权利和义务)

Article 33. Citizenship (第三十三条)

All persons holding the nationality of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are citizens of the PRC.
凡具有中华人民共和国国籍的人都是中华人民共和国公民。

All citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law.
中华人民共和国公民在法律面前一律平等。 Continue reading

HK protests spread to US colleges

Source: NYC (10/26/19)
Hong Kong Protests Spread to U.S. Colleges, and a Rift Grows
By Emma Goldberg

A student who attended protests in Hong Kong spoke at the University of California, Davis, this month. The conflict is spilling onto campuses across the U.S., highlighting rising tensions between students.

A student who attended protests in Hong Kong spoke at the University of California, Davis, this month. The conflict is spilling onto campuses across the U.S., highlighting rising tensions between students. Credit: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

For much of the year, Frances Hui followed the Hong Kong demonstrations from her dorm room at Emerson College, feeling guilty that she was safe in Boston while clashes grew increasingly violent for her fellow Hong Kongers.

But when she protested on campus in support of the movement this month, she did not expect to fear for her own well-being.

Students from mainland China, she said, confronted her with expletives and lewd gestures. Earlier, a classmate posted an op-ed she had written, titled “I Am From Hong Kong, Not China,” along with a Facebook comment: “Whomever opposes my greatest China, no matter how far they are, must be executed.” Continue reading

Dartmouth Comp Lit MA

Comparative Literature MA Program
Dartmouth College
http://complit.dartmouth.edu/graduate

About

The Comparative Literature Master of Arts Program is a one-year interdisciplinary program that approaches literary study from a variety of theoretical and interpretative perspectives. More than 25 members from different departments actively participate in the program, including Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, Classics, English, Film and Media Studies, German Studies, French and Italian, Russian, and Spanish and Portuguese. The special focus of the M.A. is both to give graduate students the methodological, cultural, linguistic, and pedagogical training they need for advanced work in Comparative Literature and to encourage them to pursue their independent research interests. Continue reading

Chinese Individualisation and Confucian Revival

Lecture Title: “Chinese individualisation and Confucian revival: Parental actions in emerging Confucian education”
Speaker: Dr Canglong Wang (University of Hull)
Date: 6 Nov 2019 Wednesday
Time: 6-730pm
Venue: Room 152, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster W1B 2HW

ALL ARE WELCOME

The current research on the individualisation of Chinese society in relation to the recent Confucian revival has remained a relatively unexplored topic. This talk offers a theoretically informed analysis of interview data with parents involved in a Confucian school, and contributes to offering insight into the scholarly gaps in both theory and evidence by exploring how the parental actors arise as critical individuals in the emerging domain of Confucian education, their disembedding actions from the mainstream state school system, and the paradox of regaining ‘safety’ in struggling to return. Continue reading

Testimony from a Xinjiang reeducation camp (1)

On the enforced confessions in the camps: I think of it as an “identity conversion therapy”: Detainees are forced to reject their ethnic and cultural identity and stop speaking their native language, on pain of extra punishment. They are forced to find fault in themselves, and reject themselves, including especially their personal everyday faith, by way of interpreting the “faults” (= doing things like eating halal food) as would-be extremism. The procedure could be called “anti-religious,” rather than religious – but then detainees are also forced to endlessly chant Xi Jinping’s words, which also could be seen as a kind of religious worship.

It is of course the Chinese regime that is extremist here. As regards the violence, I think there is a spiral of violence involved, begetting more and more violence and cruelty. There is nothing blocking violence from festering and escalating, when the leader’s permit it, encourage it, and, cover it up. I wrote about this aspect here: http://theasiadialogue.com/2018/10/24/the-xinjiang-camps-as-a-stanford-prison-experiment/ Continue reading

China detains 2 Americans (1)

It’s a good article – Still, I feel it’s strange that the NYT makes no mention of our Swedish citizen Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong bookseller and publisher abducted by China – even though the date of the article, Oct. 17, marks exactly 4 years, or 1,461 days, since the Chinese regime kidnapped Gui from his home, on Oct 17, 2015.

We have no news of him after they last paraded our fellow citizen on their TV, last year. Instead, the Chinese authorities just continue to detain him extra-legally – refusing consular visits, even though under international agreements they are obligated to allow our side to visit our citizen.

At the same time the Chinese “ambassador” in Stockholm continues his ultra-nasty campaign attacking anyone in Sweden and any Swedish media that defends Gui Minhai, or criticizes China in any way. Continue reading

China detains 2 Americans

Source: NYT (10/17/19)
China Detains 2 Americans Amid Growing Scrutiny of Foreigners
Two Americans who ran an English-language teaching company are being held on charges of organizing illegal border crossings, a Chinese government spokesman said.
By Amy Qin

BEIJING — The authorities in southern China have detained two Americans who led an Idaho-based English-language teaching company, the latest sign of the Chinese government’s growing scrutiny of foreigners working and traveling in the country.

The two Americans, Jacob Harlan and Alyssa Petersen, were detained late last month and are being held in Zhenjiang, a town in Jiangsu Province, according to GoFundMe pages set up by friends and relatives.

Mr. Harlan, a father of five, is the owner of China Horizons, a company he founded in 2004 that arranges for Americans to teach English in China, according to the company’s website. Ms. Petersen, who has lived in China periodically for the past eight years, is the director of the company, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for her legal fees. Continue reading

Contemporary China Centre Blog

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Contemporary China Centre Blog.

Based at the University of Westminster, the Contemporary China Centre focuses on interdisciplinary research about contemporary China which is grounded in cultural studies. Our work builds on Westminster’s long-term commitment to Chinese Studies, at whose heart lies an engagement with Chinese language, cultural practice and production, and its critical analysis. We seek to complement social science-based research on contemporary China with a critical perspective from the Humanities.

Our new blog project brings together our research and expertise concerning the cultural dimensions of social and political transformation in China and the cutting-edge issues and agendas that are core features of China’s role in the global circulation of knowledge and cultural influence. It also seeks to promote the University of Westminster Archive’s China Visual Arts Project, which was founded in 1977 and holds over 800 Chinese propaganda posters, as well as a wealth of Chinese books, objects and ephemera dating from the 1940s to the 1980s. We hope that this project will contribute to ongoing debates and promote interdisciplinary dialogue about the social, cultural, political and historical dynamics that inform life in China today.

You can access the Contemporary China Centre Blog at:  http://blog.westminster.ac.uk/contemporarychina/. You can also read about our very first issue, which is entitled Fashion, Beauty and Nation, here:  http://blog.westminster.ac.uk/contemporarychina/issue-1-fashion-beauty-and-nation/. Continue reading

One country, no arguments

Source: NYT (10/11/19)
China’s Political Correctness: One Country, No Arguments
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
The Communist Party has spent decades preparing the people to defend a united homeland. Hong Kong’s protests show it has paid off.
By Li Yuan

A military parade honoring the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was held in Beijing in October.CreditCreditWu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

Hong Kong’s protests have disrupted Yang Yang’s family life. Though the 29-year-old lives in mainland China, he was inspired by the demonstrations to write a song about freedom and upload it to the internet. When censors deleted it, he complained to his family.

They weren’t sympathetic. “How can you support Hong Kong separatists?” they asked. “How can you be anti-China?” His mother threatened to disown him. Before Mr. Yang left on a trip to Japan in August, his father said he hoped his son would die there.

Hong Kong’s protests have inflamed tensions in the semiautonomous Chinese city, but passions in the mainland have been just as heated — and, seemingly, almost exclusively against the demonstrators. Continue reading