Translator:Doco文鼎; Reviewer: Wencheng
On October 13th, after the National Security Law released in Hong Kong in June this year, 100 Chinese scholars from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany issued a joint statement criticizing the fact that the National Security Law has caused a chilling effect in academia. And a large number of students were afraid to discuss and criticize China, and even proposed to retreat courses, so the international community worked together to defend academic freedom.
Since the National Security Law applies to people living outside Hong Kong and Hong Kong resident, once the Chinese government considers their academic work violate National Security Law, those people may face long-term imprisonment.
Chinese scholars representing 16 countries and 71 academic institutions issued a joint letter stating that if the academic community does not join together in fighting China’s interference in academic research, universities will be destroyed one by one.
The National Security Law applies globally. Students fear retaliation, give up researching modules related to China, and self-censor their articles. Many students are afraid to discuss and criticize China, and even propose to withdraw courses.
Universities should be a place for intense debate, providing a safe room for scholars and students to discuss controversial issues. However, the National Security Law applies to the world, which will damage freedom of speech and academic autonomy, and cause chilling effect. Some scholars even revealed that students have given up studying some area related to China for fear of retaliation. A lecturer of the University of Leipzig recently revealed that his students from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China afraid to be implicated because other students criticize the Chinese Communist Party in class. Some of them even requested the cancellation of their elective courses.
The CCP government uses students as a tool to monitor tutors in China and Hong Kong universities, and uses foreign students as CCP spy.
Fulda continued: “As we all know, China uses students as a weapon to monitor tutors in China and Hong Kong universities. This attempt to turn students into tools is not limited to China. Prof Vanessa Frangville reveals that the embassy in Brussels is trying to hire students from the University of Brussels and use these students to express dissatisfaction with an Uyghur protest.
Universities cannot face this challenge alone. Academic leaders, politicians and senior government officials must form a group to defend our academic freedom.
Dr Andreas Fulda, a senior researcher and co-sponsor of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute said: “Several students from the UK and mainland China have told me in private that they are worried about the comments they express in classes or articles will be used as evidence against them. Universities cannot face this challenge alone. Academic leaders, politicians and senior government officials must form a group to defend our academic freedom. We must reveal the nature of the National Security Law. It attempts to arbitrarily stop discussions that criticize China, and go against to the pursuit of knowledge and truth.”