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Letters to the Editor

KU on wrong side

December 16, 2010

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To the editor:

Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese human rights advocate, recently was granted the Nobel Peace Prize for his quiet advocacy of political freedom in China. Liu, unfortunately, was not able to travel to Oslo, Norway, to receive the prize. He sits in a Chinese prison, serving an 11-year sentence meted out for the “crime” of suggesting that the Chinese people would be better off if China had a multiparty political system instead of one-party rule by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

After Liu’s award was announced, his wife was immediately placed under house arrest so she could not go to Oslo to receive the prize on her husband’s behalf. Many other human rights advocates were also placed under house arrest or police surveillance.

Prior to the announcement that Liu was the recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the Chinese government threatened the Nobel Committee and, afterwards, it tried to intimidate other countries so they would not send ambassadors to the award ceremony. Live BBC and CNN telecasts of the ceremony were blocked in China.

These actions by the Chinese government make me wish that the University of Kansas would end its participation in the CCP’s Confucius Institute Program. Why doesn’t KU want to stand with Liu Xiaobo instead of serving his jailers? The CCP said that awarding the Nobel Peace prize to Liu was an “obscenity.” Ridiculous. A real obscenity is KU providing facilities, staff, and funding that support the CCP’s so-called Confucius Institute on the Edwards Campus.

Comments

labmonkey 4 years ago

Mr. Bjorge-

How often do you "stand" with China? Do you shop at Wal-Mart? Do you look at the label whenever you buy anything?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

I'm just curious. Have you ever looked at the curriculum of the Confucius Institute? Do they have classes on Marxism? Or do they only have courses on language and culture?

I haven't looked at it recently, but I can just about guarantee it's only the latter. So while I agree that KU taking tainted money from the Chinese government is problematic, KU takes the money because they couldn't fund such a program on Chinese language and culture, otherwise-- not because they love socialism or communism.

But I agree that shopping at Wal-Mart provides the government of China considerably more support than taking a Chinese language course at KU.

equalaccessprivacy 4 years ago

I hardly find KU --at least its public representatives and high-ranking officials - to represent any principles of conscience and integrity I could ever respect or identify with. KU is not a free-speech haven either. In short, KU people seem to be exactly the sorts who would throw someone like Liu Xiaobo in prison and hide the key.

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