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Is China Open to Academics?
Anthony Fernandes forwards a Washington Post item about the incredible censorship of academic research in China and the punishment of those deemed guilty, notably Song Yongyi, a librarian at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Leading American Sinologists have protested, among them a Stanford colleague:
Michel Oksenberg, a Stanford University professor, said the case "would appear to violate a basic principle of reciprocity that has governed academic exchanges between our two countries." A former top official at the National Security Council and a respected academic not given to hyperbole, Oksenberg urged China to explain its case. Oksenberg said that "the charge against Song is so vague--that he conveyed intelligence to a foreign organization--that it raises questions about the safety of any foreigner in China."
Chinese officials have declined to discuss the case. Song is a permanent resident of the United States and was to be sworn in as a citizen in September. He is a nationally recognized authority on the Cultural Revolution.
Ronald Hilton - 1/13/00