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Chinese authorities prevent scholars from attending international conference

ANI | Updated: Mar 30, 2022 23:08 IST

Washington [US], March 30 (ANI): At least five Chinese scholars based in the People's Republic of China (PRC) were prevented from attending virtual events which ended last weekend, a US media report said.
The conference was an annual gathering organized by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) in Honolulu.
The international conference, one of the largest membership-based organizations in the field, was supposed to gather some of the most promising and most established Asia studies scholars from across the world.
Chinese security officers and education officials intervened, citing education regulations published during a COVID-19 pandemic, National Public Radio (NPR) reported citing four people with direct knowledge of the matter.
This rule requires all Chinese scholars to receive university permission to attend any international event.

"After years of encouraging and funding PRC scholars to participate internationally, the intensifying controls of recent years are now full-scale, and academic work, at least on China, is to be quarantined from the world," said James Millward, a history professor at Georgetown University who attended the conference. "The doors have slammed shut fast."
According to the NPR report, Chinese scholars on a separate virtual panel were also told by Chinese university administrators to cancel their presentations.
The authorities sent messages to other attendees to withdraw from the panel due to "medical reasons" but hoped to partake in AAS events again "in less sensitive times," according to NPR.
China requires its academics to seek university approval for overseas trips and collaborations.
In September 2020, universities began applying these rules for online events held by international organizations, as well, though such rules had not been extensively enforced until now. (ANI)