US academics condemn ‘racial profiling’ of Chinese students and scholars over spying fears

Aug 13, 2019 by

  • Intelligence agencies monitoring people based on country of origin ‘should raise alarms in a democracy’, education bodies warn US government in letter
  • It follows spate of dismissals and harassment of Chinese-American researchers in connection with alleged spying on Beijing’s behalf

Nearly 20 American organisations issued a statement on Monday against racial profiling, in response to the US government urging colleges to

monitor Chinese students and scholars over fears they may be stealing information for Beijing.

Intelligence agencies in the United States, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have in recent months asked some US research universities to

develop protocols for monitoring students and scholars from Chinese state-affiliated research institutions.

A letter urging the government to “tread carefully” has been signed by 19 universities and associations including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), and Scholars at Risk, an international network of academic institutions that supports academic freedom. It was also signed by PEN America, a non-government organisation that promotes free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights.

The organisations acknowledged that “concern with the mounting global reach of Beijing’s tech-enabled authoritarianism is valid”, but they stressed that “calls to monitor individuals solely based on their country of origin violate norms of due process and should raise alarms in a democracy”.

Source: US academics condemn ‘racial profiling’ of Chinese students and scholars over spying fears | South China Morning Post

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