Monitoring Chinese scholars in the United States could “trample on individual rights” and impede scientific research, a group of prominent higher-education associations said in a statement published by the PEN America, a free-speech nonprofit organization.
This is the latest signal that American research universities are worried about higher education’s position in political and economic tensions between the US and China heighten.
China and America are each other’s top research collaborators and the conflict has strained scientific partnerships with Chinese enrollment on American campuses slowing down, a troubling sign as university revenue depends on tuition dollars.
The statement also said that agencies “need to clarify and specify their concerns, and ensure that their efforts do not trample on individual rights, nor on the principle of free and open academic inquiry and exchange.”
The statement was endorsed by the American Association of University Professors, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities, United Chinese Americans and trade groups for Chinese and Asian-Americans.