US professor: Anti-China paranoia rising on US campuses

By Zhao Manfeng | | Updated: 2023-08-09 14:47
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United States-based scholar Denis Simon recently wrote to China Daily to say he has resigned from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill because of an insurmountable philosophical gap between him and the academic community regarding engagement with China.

"The US universities are distancing themselves from China because we've entered this new downward spiral in US-China relations. US university leaders are fearful that if they get too close to China, that the federal government will worry about so-called national security issues and related problems and they will take away funding from other areas in the university," he said.

Simon said the trend set in during the previous Donald Trump administration, when questions were being raised whether China's rise posed a threat to the US.

"And therefore, they began to think about ways to limit engagement with China, and words like delinking, decoupling, and now, today, de-risking, ways to engage with China to keep so-called threats to US interests at a minimum. The US State Department right now rates China as a category 3 country, which means you should not go to China if you don't have to," Simon wrote.

In April, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, an American pollster, showed 83 percent of Americans held a negative view of China. Additionally, 25 percent of Americans consider China to be more of an enemy than a competitor or partner.

"This is a terrible development and it's the product of the hyperbole coming out of the halls of Congress," Simon said. Many people in Congress, he added, are spouting exaggerated claims about China, hindering cooperation and the advancement of inquiry and research.

Simon said most Chinese students and scholars went to the US just to advance their careers or to advance the cutting edge of science.

"Collaboration between American scientists and Chinese scientists now has been the most productive collaboration in terms of publications in the best tier-1 referee journals," Simon concluded.

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