The British newspaper The Times reported on July 10 that Cambridge University’s Jesus College produced a paper accused of “reputation laundering” for Huawei and that it had received £200,000 (US $255,000) from the Chinese state and £155,000 (US $198,000) from the telecom giant, despite repeated warnings from British intelligence about Huawei’s possible espionage activities for Beijing.
In February, the UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre, which is under Jesus College, published a white paper on global communications reforms, which gave a favorable portrayal of Huawei. The paper also said that “transnational governance” of the technology industry “needs to consider differences in the normative standards accepted by different countries.”
The Times also revealed that, in September 2018, when the UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre was created, it banked £200,000 (US $255,000) from an agency of China’s State Council, the country’s administrative authority. Jesus collage also confirmed that it received £155,000 (US $198,000) from Huawei last September to “cover a two-year research co-operation.”
Zhu Rui, a doctoral student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that Huawei, nominally a private company, is the property of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). When Jesus College turned a blind eye to the potential consequences and accepted donations from Huawei, it was subjecting its academic freedom to the influence of the CCP. On issues of religious freedom, human rights, and democracy, it cannot say what it wants to say, as if someone’s throat is being choked.
Teng Biao, a legal scholar living in exile in the United States, who has been studying the CCP’s overseas infiltration, criticized Jesus College for selling its soul for money. “Many universities around the world have kowtowed to the Chinese government for money and have conducted self-censorship. This is a typical example of China’s accelerated infiltration and expansion. With the almost unlimited financial resources that the Chinese government has plundered from its people, it is able to use economic means to buy favorable political expressions about Beijing.”
RFA found that the cooperation between Jesus College and Huawei is only the tip of the iceberg of Cambridge University’s connections with China. The Cambridge Centre for Chinese Management (CCCM), under Cambridge’s Judge Business School, has Tian Tao, a senior adviser from Huawei, and Hu Yanping, former SVP at Huawei among its directors.
The China Centre, a separate entity, is also affiliated with Jesus College and a charitable trust oversees it. It organizes a two-week training course for executives from Chinese state-owned companies. Professor Peter Nolan, 71, one of the charity’s trustees, is the director of the China Centre and a fellow at Jesus College. He became the first ever “Chong Hua” professor at Cambridge, a role founded in 2012 “to further the study of China.” According to The Times, the daughter of former Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao backed the professorship with a £3.7 million donation she made. The Times reported that the charitable trust which oversees the China Centre was sent £55,000 in November 2018 from a group linked to China’s State Council.
Huawei’s donations to British academic and scientific research institutions have attracted broad attention. At the beginning of last year, Oxford University said it would suspend accepting donations or sponsorships from Huawei. RFA also reported earlier that Huawei provided £5 million in research funding to Imperial College London and a super-fast 5G network to the university. Because the university is studying the corona virus, the incident triggered widespread public criticism; the criticisms allege that Huawei has a mission to interfere with virus research and affect the university’s objectivity in virus investigations. As early as 2017, Huawei and British Telecoms jointly announced a new round of a five-year cooperation plan, which will invest £25 million to establish a joint research team with Cambridge University.
Source: Radio Free Asia, July 13, 2020