Students at the University of California, San Diego are protesting an upcoming speech by the Dalai Lama on the grounds that he is an “oppressive figure threatening to divide a unified China.”
According to a report from Quartz Magazine, an offshoot of The Atlantic, students at the University of California, San Diego are concerned about an upcoming visit from the Dalai Lama, who they consider to be a threat to the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China.
The announcement triggered outrage among Chinese students who view the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as an oppressive figure threatening to divide a unified China. A group of them now plans to meet with the university chancellor to discuss the content of the upcoming speech.
The awkwardness doesn’t end there. As the aggrieved students have trumpeted their opposition, their rhetoric has borrowed elements from larger campus activist movements across the United States. The upshot: What Westerners might perceive as Communist Party orthodoxy is mingling weirdly with academia’s commitment to diversity, political correctness, and other championed ideals.
Shortly after UCSD announced the Dalai Lama’s visit, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) issued a lengthy statement expressing their concern.
UCSD is a place for students to cultivate their minds and enrich their knowledge. Currently, the various actions undertaken by the university have contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness—the ethos upon which the university is built. These actions have also dampened the academic enthusiasm of Chinese students and scholars. If the university insists on acting unilaterally and inviting the Dalai Lama to give a speech at the graduation ceremony, our association vows to take further measures to firmly resist the university’s unreasonable behavior. Specific details of these measures will be outlined in our future statements.
“What Westerners might perceive as Communist Party orthodoxy is mingling weirdly with academia’s commitment to diversity, political correctness, and other championed ideals,” Quartz notes.