Forbes: China Poses a Serious Threat to Campus Free Speech

Chinese soldiers march with the national flag (C), flanked by the flags of the Communist Party of China (R) and the People's Liberation Army (L) during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic …
GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

A column published in Forbes on Wednesday makes the case that the Chinese government is attempting to undermine free speech on Western college campuses.

Journalist Nick Morrison published a column in Forbes on Wednesday detailing the Chinese government’s plan to suppress certain types of political speech on Western college campuses.

Breitbart News has reported extensively on the Confucius Institute, an activist group that offers American universities funding and educational resources. The group has been widely accused of abusing their authority to manipulate discourse on China.

Breitbart News reported this week that findings by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee which revealed that the Chinese government is using the Confucius Institute to suppress criticism of China on American and British campuses.

The report claimed that the Chinese government poses a threat to academic freedom through the Confucius Institute. “While autocracies seek to shape the research agenda or curricula of U.K. universities, or limit activities on university campuses, not enough is being done to protect academic freedom from financial, political and diplomatic pressure,” the report read.

Morrison highlights three separate incidents in which the Chinese government suppressed speech on campuses.

  • A member of the Russell Group of leading U.K. universities disinvited a speaker after a pro-vice chancellor was “spoken to by someone in the Chinese embassy”;
  • A vice-chancellor asked a senior academic not to make political comments on China, under pressure from the Chinese embassy;
  • Officials from the state-backed Confucius Institute were said to have confiscated papers relating to Taiwan at an academic conference.

Many American universities have begun to cut ties with the Confucius Institute. Breitbart News reported in October that the University of Delaware had announced that they would end their relationship with the Confucius Institute.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on China’s effort to suppress speech on campus.

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