The College Fix:
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week called for more protection for Chinese students who are pressured by the Chinese Communist Party to report the activities of pro-democracy activists and dissidents on American campuses.
“Some of the CCP’s biggest victims on campuses are innocent Chinese nationals themselves,” Pompeo said during a speech at Georgia Tech, adding, “this is a tragedy. We have a responsibility to police this.”
During the 2018-19 academic year, there were nearly 370,000 Chinese nationals, or 34 percent of all foreign students, enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, according to the Institute of International Education. If any of these students are identified as dissidents by the Chinese government and travel home, they could be arrested and imprisoned for life.
In July, China passed a controversial new law allowing the country to crack down on dissent, even from those residing outside of the country. It is the same law China has used to quash protests against the country’s attempts to erode the autonomy of Hong Kong.
The anti-dissident law allows China to punish any speech it determines to be “secessionist, subversive or terrorist,” even if the individual lives outside the country and isn’t a permanent resident of China.
“At Princeton, just this year, students in a Chinese politics class were forced to use code names on their work, lest the CCP discover their identities, and prosecute them for free expression of views on Hong Kong and the CCP under its draconian new national security law,” Pompeo said. “That’s right here. This happened right here in the United States of America. American students.”