OPINION / VIEWPOINT
Cambridge abuses its reputation following Pompeo's suit
Published: Aug 17, 2020 02:03 PM

Carrie Lam. File photo: VCG


I support Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's move to drop her honorary fellowship with Cambridge University's Wolfson College. Cambridge University has followed the steps of politicians like US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and lost its independence. This is a real humiliation of the university's long-standing reputation. Lam studied at Cambridge University, but it kicked her when she was down. It's disappointing.

I want to remind Cambridge University that most of its glory - just like that of the United Kingdom - belongs to the past. It, like the rest of the UK, is facing many potential crises. All of best universities in the world have developed reputations for relying on the prosperity of the countries and regions they are in. With the UK going downhill, Cambridge University should be vigilant to prevent factors that lead to decline - such as those that led to the fall of the British Empire. It should see the world with an open mind and cherish the respect it receives from people across the globe. It cannot abuse its reputation. 

To put it bluntly, the Western world can no longer afford the lasting glory Cambridge University hopes to hold onto. It must simultaneously be acknowledged and supported by a highly emerging society like China. Cambridge depends upon its stellar reputation to gather talents and resources - and for this the university really is something. But if fewer people attach importance to it, the charm will be gone and it will turn into nothing. 

So for the long run, schools like Cambridge University will shoot itself in the foot if they put on airs over Chinese people or other emerging countries. It's ruining its own reputation.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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