Self-Censorship and China

September 5, 2018

An article in The New Republic examines the issue of self-censorship among scholars who study China and U.S. universities that want to stay in good standing with Beijing. The article includes allegations that in 2015 Columbia University canceled several talks at its global center in Beijing that were deemed politically sensitive. A Columbia spokesman denied that the university canceled events in Beijing because of their political content.

The article also says that some graduate students reported censoring themselves. One student, quoted anonymously, said she would not do anything to jeopardize her ability to get a visa to China in the future.

The New Republic article was published the same day Inside Higher Ed reported on the results of a first-ever survey of more than 500 China studies scholars on the subject of Chinese state repression of their research and perceptions of self-censorship. The results of that survey are summarized here.

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