xi's moments
Home | China-US

Scholar resigns over anti-China paranoia

By ZHAO MANFENG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-10 09:30

United States-based scholar Denis Simon said he has resigned from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because of a 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," Simon wrote to China Daily.

The trend started during the Donald Trump administration, when questions were being raised about whether China's rise posed a threat to the US, he said.

"And therefore, they began to think about ways to limit engagement with China, and used 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," Simon said.

"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," he said.

"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 making 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.

Productive collaboration

"Collaboration between American scientists and Chinese scientists has been the most productive collaboration in terms of publications in the best tier-1 refereed journals," he said.

Simon said he has served as a bridge between the US and China for the past 40 years. He made his first trip to China in 1981 and has continued to travel to China on a regular basis multiple times a year. His doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on Chinese science and technology policy.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did not respond to media queries about Simon's resignation.

Before resigning, Simon served as a clinical professor of global business and technology at the university's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

From 2015 to 2020, he served a five-year term as executive vice-chancellor of Duke Kunshan, a joint university between Duke University and Wuhan University located in the city of Kunshan in Jiangsu province. The university focused on offering high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as a broad array of state-of-the-art research facilities.

Looking forward, Simon said the US and China should emphasize people-to-people diplomacy so the two countries can feel at ease with one another.

"Let's not try to be overly ambitious, but let's take one or two problems that we face," he said.

"Let's restore the trust. Once we've accomplished those one or two, minor projects, let's take on bigger and more pressing projects. And as more confidence and more trust are built, we can go forward in terms of taking on the bigger issues that confront not only both countries, but also the world."

Online See more by scanning the code.



Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349