News & Politics

At Home and at Harvard, Communist China Runs the Ultimate Cancel Culture

Chinese Foreign Ministry new spokesman Zhao Lijian gestures as he speaks during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. China's foreign ministry on Monday said it didn't matter that three expelled journalists had nothing to do with a Wall Street Journal editorial that Beijing deemed racist, and called on the paper to apologize. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China is furiously cracking down to stop information about the coronavirus and its origins in Wuhan from getting out:

A group of volunteers in China who worked to prevent digital records of the coronavirus outbreak from being scrubbed by censors are now targets of a crackdown.

Cai Wei, a Beijing-based man who participated in one such project on GitHub, the software development website, was arrested together with his girlfriend by Beijing police on April 19. The couple were accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a commonly used charge against dissidents in China, according to Chen Kun, the brother of Chen Mei, another volunteer involved with the project. Chen Mei has been missing since that same day. On April 24, the couple’s families received a police notice that informed them of the charge, and said the two have been put under “residential surveillance at a designated place.” There is still no information about Chen Mei, said his brother.

The crackdown comes as the communists seek to salvage China’s damaged reputation and divestment from China picks up worldwide.

Microsoft, which has worked with the communist state since 1992, owns GitHub. The communists have already publicly been assisted by the NBA before the pandemic, the U.S. media during the pandemic, and the EU is helping the communists airbrush the future too.

At Harvard, a “powerful person” proactively censors Chinese dissident Teng Biao – while he lives and works in the United States. The university’s own student newspaper is taking the Ivy League school to account for it. The Harvard Crimson:

Early in 2015, Teng and Chen Guangcheng, who had by then been released from Chinese custody, had planned to cross paths again. Working with Harvard graduates, Teng had scheduled an event to be hosted at Harvard in late March or early April, during which he and Chen would speak about their experiences as dissidents.

But on Feb. 11, the powerful person at Harvard gave Teng the first call.

“He told me to cancel the talk,” Teng says. “He told me the time we were supposed to give our talk, that day was when the Harvard president would fly back from Beijing. And a few weeks before that, the Harvard president was meeting Xi Jinping.” The administrator told him hosting an event with two Chinese dissidents only days after a historic meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then University President Drew G. Faust would “embarrass” Harvard, Teng recalls.

“It was not about the title or the topics — but because of ourselves,” Teng says. “We ourselves are sensitive.”

Teng and the other organizers persisted, hoping they could find another Harvard venue. “We tried to avoid him, but eventually we realized we were not able to,” he says.

The second phone call, on March 10, was a formal and final warning. The powerful person called Teng to his office and told him the event would embarrass the University and potentially threaten the continuation of collaborative programs and joint research with China. The administrator asked Teng to “postpone” the event, and Teng finally agreed.

“Postpone is a polite word,” Teng recalls. “They never invited us to give a talk after that.”

Chen Guangcheng puts it more bluntly. “What he meant was that it was going to be postponed indefinitely,” he explains, through an interpreter. “It was just another way to cancel it completely.”

Read the whole thing. It’s cancel culture on American soil, courtesy the Chinese Communist Party with an assist from some of the best and brightest in U.S. academia.

China’s systematic abuse of our visa system is a whole other issue that’s not getting enough attention.

Bryan Preston is the author of Hubble’s Revelations: The Amazing Time Machine and Its Most Important Discoveries

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