Distinguished Scholar Discusses the Challenges Facing China Scholars in the COVID Era
Sep 10, 2020 | East Asia
Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar, discussed the potential repercussions of China’s new “Hong Kong National Security Law” for American educational institutions in a number of recent media appearances. These included interviews with Medium and Deutsche-Welle News (in Mandarin), a video roundtable in Politico, and a short written piece in ChinaFile.
The law has raised concerns among educators who worry about their ability to ensure student safety and privacy while also maintaining free discussion. Greitens discussed the various strategies that educators can employ to prevent exposing students to “extraterritorial jurisdiction asserted by the national security law,” but noted that at the end of the day, no U.S.-based instructor can fully dodge the risk, as it is generated by the laws of the PRC. Greitens also discussed the results of a survey she conducted on how academics navigate potential Chinese repression, noting that scholars have often been left to their own devices with little support from their universities. Greitens argued that universities need to adopt coordinated strategies to address this issue, relying on in-house expertise on China to assess and respond to the challenge. She concluded by emphasizing the importance of continued dedication to China studies, despite—and indeed, more so because of—the present U.S.-China tensions and challenges. Read the full interview here.