McMaster University, a reputable university in Canada, recently disqualified the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) from having an official club status. The reasons were that it interfered with the freedom of speech of the students on campus and that it has a close connection with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Rukiye Turdush, a Uyghuer activist, was invited to attend an event on February 11 at McMaster University that was related to Xinjiang’s “Re-education Camps.” Some unhappy Chinese students yelled loudly at the event and were suspected of swearing.
As Deutsche Welle reported, the WeChat screenshots that anonymous students provided showed that the Chinese students had been in contact with the Chinese Embassy regarding Turdush’s participation in the campus event. The Chinese Embassy asked the students to report on the situation and on the attendees, and hoped that the students would bring the case to the university. The CSSA subsequently issued an open letter opposing the university’s invitation given to Turdush to give a speech, criticizing it as a “ridiculous anti-China speech.” The letter charged Turdush with “publicly promoting East Turkistan separatist activities, promoting national hatred, and attacking the Chinese government.” After the Student Representative Assembly (SRA) at McMaster University, conducted an investigation, it decided that the behavior of the CSSA was in violation of the rules. On the 28th, the SRA voted to disqualify the CSSA as an official club.
Before the vote, Simranjeet Singh, one of the members of SRA, said that many students stood up to express their concerns about the CSSA. He said, “Although we do not have the ability to change what is happening in China, we have the ability to protect students at McMaster University.” After it loses its status, the CSSA will lose the funds that the Student Union allocated to it, the privileges of booking school classrooms, and the channels for publicity and promotion.
Source: Central News Agency, September 30, 2019