opinion | America should open its arms to Chinese students

Author: Yuvi November 17, 2022  opinion |  America should open its arms to Chinese students

Yet an independent streak still runs through Chinese youth. Just before last month’s Communist Party congress in Beijing, over which Mr Xi consolidated his control, an apparently lone protester held a protest to denounce Mr Xi’s growing authoritarianism. The rare public display of dissent was quickly suppressed. But unidentified Chinese students at more than 350 universities in the United States and around the world amplified the protesters’ message online.

Even before this, many of my Chinese students had confided in me complex feelings about their country. Disappointment with Mr. Xi’s zero-Covid policy, which has cost friends and family their livelihoods, and concerns about their career prospects after they graduate and return to China, where the zero-Covid policy and Mr. Xi’s moves To rein in the private sector has cooled the economy and fueled youth unemployment. Others, who witnessed or participated in protest movements while studying abroad, want to see protections for LGBTQ rights, which have been suppressed under Xi, as have other civil rights out of concern that advocacy groups Can be co-opted by foreign forces. , Some of the students I spoke to say they want to live abroad given Mr Xi’s tenure – he won a third five-year term at last month’s congress – a long shot at social change in China. as in winter.

These frustrations are usually repressed through self-censorship, even while living abroad, for fear of retribution from classmates or ultranationalist Chinese online trolls. Many students lower their voices when discussing Chinese politics in class or in public places.

Yet thousands of China’s best and brightest remain critical thinkers. Some who have worked as teaching assistants in courses on democracy are well aware of the irony of not being able to vote in their own country. Chinese students at my university have little to no experience participating in social movements, but protests on or around campus inspire interest in social justice within China, such as the hardships of the hundreds of millions of migrant workers who work in remote jobs. Work hard for low pay. House.

Although it works both ways. Chinese students are often shocked by the unequal treatment of African Americans or feel concerned about the anti-Asian violence that has coincided with the COVID pandemic. But through my years of teaching, I have seen that these experiences create a set of young Chinese people who are aware of the flaws in both the Chinese and Western political systems. This does not mean they will return home and advocate for US-aligned interests, even if they could. But they could be the future when it comes to brokering a US-China understanding, which is in short supply right now.

The “patriotic education” of the Chinese Communist Party is designed to inspire the country’s younger generation. The strategic US response is to ensure that Chinese students maintain access to Western free thought and the institutions that safeguard it, rather than simply blocking students at the gate.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at newscinema.in

17 November, 2022, 3:30 pm

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