China’s national-security law reaches into Harvard, Princeton classrooms

FOX BUSINESS - Aug 19, 2020 -

The Wall Street Journal -


Professors at elite U.S. universities turn to code names, warning labels to protect students



The effect of the new national-security law that China imposed on Hong Kong is extending far beyond the territory to American college campuses.


Classes at some elite universities will carry a warning label this fall: This course may cover material considered politically sensitive by China. And schools are weighing measures to try to shield students and faculty from prosecution by Chinese authorities.


At Princeton University, students in a Chinese politics class will use codes instead of names on their work to protect their identities. At Amherst College a professor is considering anonymous online chats so students can speak freely. And Harvard Business School may excuse students from discussing politically sensitive topics if they are worried about the risks.


The issue has become particularly pressing because at least the first semester at many universities will be taught online, meaning some students from China and Hong Kong will connect with their U.S. classmates via video links. Some academics fear the classes could be recorded and ultimately end up in the hands of Chinese authorities.


Almost 370,000 Chinese students and roughly 7,000 from Hong Kong enrolled at U.S. universities in the 2018-19 school year, and academics in the U.S. say they often opt to take classes on Chinese law, culture and politics because they want to understand more about their country and how the world views it.


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