Does Academic Freedom Vary by Nation? Chinese Scholar's Case Spurs New Debate

24xia-daily

Wellesley College

Xia Yeliang, a Peking U. economist who has publicly called for democratic freedoms in China, learned last week that he would be fired. The support of American faculty members was not enough to save his job, but it is raising anew questions about Western universities’ international engagement.

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Wellesley College

Xia Yeliang, a Peking U. economist who has publicly called for democratic freedoms in China, learned last week that he would be fired. The support of American faculty members was not enough to save his job, but it is raising anew questions about Western universities’ international engagement.

The case of Xia Yeliang, a Peking University professor fired, he and his supporters contend, for his political beliefs, is raising anew questions about Western universities' international engagement. For some observers, it is proof that colleges in the United States and elsewhere are risking their academic integrity by forging relationships in China and other authoritarian countries.

But others say the incident underscores the need for institutions to lay out principles of academic