Chinese Dissent at UCLA

UCLA has a variety of exchange arrangements with China as the image of the UCLA Confucius Institute on the left suggests.  While these arrangements can be mutually beneficial, the university can also find itself in a difficult position when and if things go wrong.  The NY Times carries a story dated Feb. 9 about a professor from Peking University who was a visiting professor at UCLA.  While here, he made some statements that ultimately led to his discharge at his home university and to quasi-exile in the U.S.:

…Peking University allowed Professor Xia to leave China to become a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, starting in July 2011 and then at Stanford the next year.
But in March 2012, as Professor Xia’s year at U.C.L.A. was nearing its end, Wen Jiabao, who was prime minister of China, gave a speech calling for reform of the Communist Party’s leadership and the country. Professor Xia took to social media, including his blog, to urge gatherings around China to press for change.  His actions angered the Chinese authorities, who ordered him back to China in January 2013. He was told in June that there would be a vote on his employment at the university, and in October he was dismissed. Peking University has partnerships with many American universities, and as word spread that he would most likely be fired, Professor Xia became a symbol of Chinese scholars’ limited academic freedom…
Full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/us/chinese-dissident-lands-at-cato-institute-with-a-caution-to-colleges.html
Faithful blog readers will recall this item related to the most recent UC Regents meeting:
… There is also a proposal for a joint lab in China that would conduct clinical trials.  Significant skepticism was expressed by regents about the risks entailed and having UCLA’s name linked to an outside entity – a private firm.  [Only one regent seemed to want to ask whether clinical trials in China are subject to the same kinds of controls, regulations, and human rights protections, that exist in the US.  UCLA says it will apply US standards.]…
From: http://uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com/2014/01/something-to-think-about-while-waiting.html
We look forward to any comments that anyone in Murphy Hall might have about Professor Xia.

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