• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 4:01am

Chinese 'spies' attending US universities, says expelled Peking University professor

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 11:45am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 March, 2014, 8:50am

A prominent Beijing scholar who recently fled to the United States has warned that China was sending "spies" to American universities, and urged US institutions to tread carefully on academic co-operation.

Xia Yeliang is one of the original signatories of Charter 08, a petition for reform whose Nobel Prize-winning lead author Liu Xiaobo is in prison.

Xia, an economist, was fired in October from Peking University. In his first public event since moving to the US last month, Xia said on Thursday he was mindful of the 1950s McCarthy era, when smears of alleged communist sympathies hit the reputations of Americans in government, entertainment and academia.

But Xia, who has been a visiting scholar at several US universities, said he was aware of "real spies" sent by Beijing to the US to carry out surveillance under the guise of academic exchange.

"Every year there are some visiting scholars. Among them, I can definitely say some of the people are actually spies. They don't do any research," Xia said at the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank which has made him a visiting fellow.

Xia urged US universities - which have been opening campuses for students from China and Gulf Arab monarchies - to ensure they "keep up some basic values like freedom of speech".

"If Hitler were here and he tried to make some co-operation with Western universities … would you also like to accept that?" he said. "Some people would say, 'Oh, you cannot compare with that.' But there's some aspects [in which] it's quite similar."

Xia said he hoped US universities would keep contacts with Chinese counterparts and encourage enrolment of Chinese students, but called for a clear-eyed look at their motivations.

Peking University said Xia was fired for poor teaching, charges which Xia rejected.


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This article is now closed to comments

Adrian P
There are two kinds of critics of China. One kind criticize because they want a better China, more democratic and yet better governed and environmentally on the right track. The other kind criticize out of murkier motives. I'm not really sure which kind professor Xia is based on this speech of his.

Weirdo...he seems quite clueless based on the comments he makes...
My personal point of view is Xia is never an educator but more of a fascist politician. He shouldn't be called himself a Chinese but a brbarian horde who betrayed his own people for his self interest!
am sure he has never read Confucius ?doctrine in his life or else our ancestor would be crying from his grave!
I think he forgot to tell that he is also a spy indisguise too!
With comments like these and he is still described as a prominent scholar. Then many of the politicians in my country are also prominent.
Chinese elites, their families and cronies enjoy enormous privledges and benefits both in China and abroad, but well over 70% of Chinese live at or near the subsistance level where education is but a far fleged dream. Lets not all captains of industries and institutions of higher learning collude together with China's elites while neglecting most of its people. Xie is right, and we need to stand up to tryanny, exploitation and injustice wherever they surfaced!
All you Commie commenters, so besides your name calling, why do you say what you say about Prof. Xia? Aren't there cases of scientists working at Bell Labs who took off with research data crammed in drives with the FBI trying to stop them at the airport? Just saying, maybe it is not a good idea to let some people head research teams at US DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Especially if they have a pinyin name and choose all of his research associates also with pinyin names. It happens. ****www.sae.org/mags/aei/mater/10245
He thinks US doesn’t know that.
This is called free speech & he's making it in China. Now let's seee if he goes to jail.
I don't see any downside to having Chinese students come to the United States.
The problem comes when naive western school administrators form joint ventures in China with Chinese schools, which, like the Mainland media that is owned and run by the Propaganda Department, are organized and run for a fundamentally different purpose -- the perpetuation of Party dictatorship.
The more money that Western schools invest on Party ground, the more that they will find themselves pretty hopelessly compromised in regard to free academic inquiry.
His clueless and cheap comment was sold for a greencard. Such 'scholar' is really something China can do better without.


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