June 18, 2022

BRITAIN: Free Speech Bill amendments to crack down on ‘foreign’ influence on universities. This is about China, of course.

UPDATE: A friend writes:

The Brit university free speech bill as a response to anti-semitism and “no-platforming” in addition to China could be huge.

OK. So we’ve got Australians and Canadians schooling us on government overreach, with their anti lockdown and anti vax mandate protests. Now, Brits schooling us on free speech and academic integrity, with their government apparently acting in the people’s interest.

Meanwhile, in the United States, government agents and pols who should be in prison for attempting a coup walk free; looting rioters are feted as agents of social change; concerned citizens face investigations and languish in prison; and free speech on campus is championed by a few scattered individuals who risk their livelihood. Our fourth estate is fine with all that.

I thought we were supposed to be the world’s beacon on all that. You know, Bill of Rights, etc.

He adds:

Chinese involvement in US universities is not all corruption and espionage, btw.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students. In my current line of work, I have random, anonymous conversations with several each day.

A lot of them are keenly aware of American liberties. I talk about Boston’s experience as the initial crucible of American liberty and genesis of much of the Bill of Rights. They are often familiar with the latter, and they get its importance as a unique document aimed at ensuring the sovereignty of the individual. These are the children of the elites, who will end up running the PRC. A good number of them seem to have no illusions about their regime, and their lack of freedoms.

So the question in the long run is, who ends up as Trojan horse? Will the PRC succeed in poisoning us with its values while ripping off our technology and know-how, or will the example of our values subvert that project?

Also, they like it here. One guy the other day gushed about my vehicle. He wants a truck. So he can enjoy the American experience before he goes back. I said Xi doesn’t want you to have that. He thought that was pretty funny but agreed.

Separate, related. A Uighur woman in my car some time ago, when I said the Chinese must think we’re stupid, said emphatically, “Yes. They do. That’s what they say.”

Her American boyfriend seemed a little taken aback btw when she also agreed emphatically that our crazy orange former president was the best thing that ever happened to US-PRC relations, putting heat on them after decades of acquiescence.

I agree.

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