Cornell Students Call to Halt China Partnership

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Cornell’s student assembly unanimously demanded that the university “halt” plans for a new joint degree program funded by the Chinese government, a further setback for administrators grappling with a faculty revolt over their close ties to the authoritarian country.

The university’s student leaders have chimed into the faculty-administration row over a multimillion-dollar partnership with Peking University, demanding during a March 25 meeting that Cornell suspend the partnership and “reevaluate all current international collaborations” for compliance to ethical standards.

“Obviously there were people in the student assembly who weren’t happy with the cooperation with Peking University,” Youhan Yuan, a student assembly member, told the Washington Free Beacon. “There is a risk that Peking University might do something despicable that you do not like. And that would be bad for your ethical standards.”

The resolution—which passed with 18 yeas, 0 nays, and 4 abstentions—is not binding. University rules, however, require Cornell president Martha Pollack to respond to the petition within 30 days, forcing the president to provide an on-the-record statement about the partnership for the first time. Cornell University has thus far refused to acknowledge that China is committing any human-rights abuses that warrant a response from the university. – READ MORE

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