US university fails to teach students correct history of Tibet

By Liu Jianxi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/20 23:43:39

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) invited the 14th Dalai Lama to address the graduating students at commencement recently. The Dalai Lama has long been active in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion, but UCSD, to the dismay of Chinese students, called the political figure in exile "a man of peace." Inviting a separatist to a graduation ceremony is not a responsible educational behavior.

The person behind the invitation was campus Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, an Indian American. Obviously, Khosla has put much effort into glossing over the Dalai Lama, attempting to shape the exiled separatist into a Nelson Mandela-like figure. As the head of one of the top research universities in the world, Khosla should respect history and offer students the true picture of Tibet, but regrettably he utilizes freedom of speech to veil his intentions to support Tibet independence.

Some Chinese overseas students have been making efforts to introduce the history of Tibet and the Dalai Lama's political intentions to their American peers, but faced political prejudice. This, evidently, reflects the bias in US educational institutes.

Many local students of UCSD have never been to China, don't understand the Chinese language, and  have little knowledge of the geographic location of Tibet, let alone the region's history. This reflects the failure of the university's historical education, and is also a reason why Khosla's "ignorance" goes without a hitch in the university. How can students cultivated in such an environment learn how to communicate with China? This is a concern for us.

Khosla must bear the consequences for this. The present-day China is no longer merely a listener to the US. The first China-US Diplomatic and Security Dialogue kicks off on Wednesday in Washington. China and the US now are on an equal footing regarding mutual dialogue. An influx of Chinese students have gone to the US for study in order to make better contributions to China's development, while it's an inevitable trend that an increasing number of US students will have to deal with China in future. Future US development is inseparable from China. If the history education the American students receive remains outdated and full of imperial perspectives, what these American students will encounter in the future is foreseeable.

Don't naively believe that China will acquiesce to the chancellor of UCSD. His support for Tibet independence will affect his personal and the university's exchanges with China. Chinese universities will take cooperative programs with it into prudent reconsideration.

It's suggested that relevant Chinese authorities not issue visas to the chancellor and not recognize diplomas or degree certificates issued by the university in China.

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