For Immediate Release Canada Tibet Committee denounces Chinese government’s delisting of University of Calgary
(Montreal, Thursday, 4 February 2010) – The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) is denouncing the Chinese government’s decision to remove the University of Calgary from its list of accredited institutions, ostensibly because the university hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Calgary last September and awarded him an honourary degree.
“Unfortunately, the Chinese government chooses to bully rather than reason in order to resolve differences. Canadian universities are respected worldwide for embracing free and open debate where opinions are expressed without fear of reprisal,” said CTC executive director Dermod Travis. “That a foreign power should be so out of touch as to believe that they can intimidate a Canadian university through such tactics would be even more astonishing if it were not the Chinese government doing the intimidating.”
The Chinese government’s decision to delist the University of Calgary falls on the heels of their criticism this week of the Obama administration for its decision to sell defensive helicopters to Taiwan and the President Obama’s plans to meet with the Dalai Lama later this month.
“Western governments must realize that if we don’t change China through constructive and substantive engagement, China will change us. The decision to delist the University of Calgary is only the latest illustration of the authoritarian measures that the Chinese government will attempt to export to western democracies unless we make it abundantly clear that we will not be bullied by authoritarian regimes in our own countries.”
The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organisation of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.
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Comment: If China's accreditation of universities process is based not actually on the academic value of the degrees they confer, but rather on political criteria, is it possible that the Chinese Government has accredited substandard universities because those institutions promise not to allow the Dalai Lama on campus?