British Parliament Seeks War against Chinese Scholars in English-Speaking Universities
Nov. 6, 2019 (EIRNS)—Warning of “alarming evidence about the extent of Chinese influence on the campuses of U.K. universities,” the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has issued a call for the British government to activate a whole-of-government effort to crack down on such influence—and in coordination with other “like-minded countries.” As the report makes clear, this means a coordinated offensive by the imperial “Five Eyes” intelligence apparatus inside the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S.
The call is a central element of a committee report, “A Cautious Embrace: Defending Democracy in an Age of Autocracies,” which the committee rushed into print before Parliament was dissolved today (and with it, their committee). The so-called “autocracies” targetted are Russia and China, with China as the main culprit when it comes to the universities.
“There is clear evidence that autocracies are seeking to shape the research agenda or curricula of U.K. universities, as well as limit the activities of researchers on university campuses. Not enough is being done to protect academic freedom from financial, political and diplomatic pressure,” the report claims. Singled out are the Confucius Institutes and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, which are denounced as “instruments of political influence.”
It charges that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO, formerly the “Foreign and Colonial Office”) “has been found wanting” in its defense of academic freedom against the Yellow Peril. The FCO must take the lead, instead, in developing a coordinated, cross-government response; make
“detailed assessments about how the U.K. and its universities should respond to foreign influence in U.K. academia”; and “engage in dialogue with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. to explore ways to protect universities from attempts by autocracies to use their financial muscle to leverage influence through the withdrawal of funding.”
They proposed that the latter effort could be run through the British Commonwealth—an imperial structure of the “former” British colonial countries, which is headed by the Queen of England (who is also Head of State of the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand, among others), and in which, it should be noted, the United States is not a part.