Harvard University canceled a panel discussion on Hong Kong protests because the event coincided with the university president’s meet-and-greet with Chinese president Xi Jinping, according to a former university scholar.
Teng Biao, a former fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s human rights center, attempted to host a panel discussion on Chinese human rights issues in 2015. A vice dean at Harvard Law School, however, ordered him in February of that year to cancel the event because it would have been “embarrassing” for the university, according to Teng.
“He called me into his office and he told me that the Harvard president was meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping,” Teng told the Washington Free Beacon. “It seems that for Harvard leaders, it was very embarrassing if we had a talk at Harvard about human rights issues in China when the Harvard president just came back from China after meeting with the Chinese president.”
Teng is a human rights lawyer who fled China after authorities kidnapped and tortured him for his participation in the 2014 Hong Kong protests. Professor William P. Alford, a vice dean at the Harvard Law School, played a role in bringing Teng to Harvard. He also ordered Teng to cancel the event, according to the Harvard Crimson. Alford confirmed with the Free Beacon that he told Teng to postpone the event, a decision he made on his own accord, rather than at the administration’s urging. He said that he allowed Teng to host other events during his time at Harvard. While Teng did participate in other events, he said the panel discussion was never re-scheduled. – READ MORE
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