Cornell’s Brittany and Adam J. Levinson (CAPS) is “designed to train future leaders who are equipped to address the inevitable challenges and negotiate the delicate complexities in the various domains of U.S.-China relations.” Educational and cultural exchange between China and the United States is a core facet of CAPS training, and we reaffirm our commitment to continuing academic engagements with China.
CAPS also reaffirms its responsibility not to shy away from, but to squarely examine and analyze precisely those situations that complicate U.S.-China relations. Currently, the two countries face two highly salient challenges. On this side of the Pacific, we are concerned by the rise of incidents of anti-Asian and Asian-American racism, on the other side, by the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) sanctions of scholars and institutions whose research and teaching Beijing deems too sensitive.
CAPS would like to take particular note of the sanctions directed last week against European scholars whose pioneering work has helped bring to light human rights abuses ongoing in China, particularly in Xinjiang. Insofar as the PRC Foreign Ministry measures aim to mute research and teaching that the Chinese state views as critical, they are anathema to the principles of academic freedom and open exchange that form the foundations of the CAPS mission. While the recent PRC retaliations were aimed at European entities, their chilling effects extend to the rest of the world.
We call on Beijing to reconsider such steps, and the University and broader academic community to collectively condemn any such attacks on academic freedom. At the same time, we express deep support for those in this country who have felt marginalized by anti-Asian and anti-Asian-American racism, and ask the University to also dedicate its resources to addressing these issues on campus and more widely.