Summary of “America’s Elite Universities Are Censoring Themselves on China”

Several people I interviewed for this story mentioned an oft-cited 2002 New York Review of Books article by Perry Link, a noted China scholar at the University of California, Riverside, who hasn’t been able to enter mainland China since 1995.
There’s a much larger volume of research and discussion about China to be self-censored and a much larger loss-to research, to cultural capital, and to a school’s bottom line-if a university’s access to China is restricted.
The second trend is that China has grown more repressive on issues of freedom of speech, both domestically and globally.
In 2016, Xi Jinping said China must “Build colleges into strongholds that adhere to Party leadership,” and that higher education “Must adhere to correct political orientation.” According to the Australian China expert John Fitzgerald, Beijing has “Begun to export the style of internationalist academic policing it routinely practices at home.” In recent years, as Millward put it in a December 2017 blog post on Medium, “The sensitive subjects have become more sensitive.” This is a “Disorienting” change, said Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian of modern China at the University of California, Irvine.
The third and arguably most important reason is that American universities are increasingly financially dependent on China.
“With Chinese studies, there is growing interest and no new money.” So some universities have turned to China’s Confucius Institutes for funding and programming.
Since the organization’s founding in 2004, it has established more than 100 Confucius Institutes in the United States, the most in the world, and, according to the organization, it currently has 29 in the United Kingdom, which hosts the second largest number perhaps because of Beijing’s desire to shape perceptions of China in the world’s two leading English-language-speaking countries.
“We avoid sensitive things like Taiwan and Falun Gong,” said Yin Xiuli, the director of the Confucius Institute at New Jersey City University, referring to the outspoken spiritual group banned in China.

The orginal article.