The Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA) at George Washington University (GWU), located in Washington, DC, dragged the school into a political controversy. Some students posted an Olympic Game-themed cartoon drawing created by cartoonist Ba Duicao, a China-born Australian citizen, to show the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) human rights violations. For example, a skier dressed in China’s red national flag was shooting a person wearing an East Turkestan flag.
The Chinese Student and Scholar Association and the Chinese Culture Association at GWU protested to the school, claiming these posters spread racial discrimination and hatred and that the Chinese students felt they were insulted.
GWU President Mark Wrighton replied to the two groups in an email, saying that he would take action to find out the people who posted the posters and hold them accountable.
However, soon Mr. Wrighton realized that the CSSA had misled him. He published a statement to admit that he made a mistake in responding too quickly without knowing the full details. He concluded that the posters were a political statement but not racial in nature and so the school would not take any action against the student who posted them. He stated that he supports freedom of speech.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission pointed out in its 2018 annual report that the CSSA’s at U.S. universities have close ties with China’s embassies or consulates in the United States and receive funding from them as well. For example, the GWU CSSA introduced itself as the “only official Chinese student association” that is “dually accredited” by the Chinese Embassy in the United States and George Washington University.
Source: Radio Free Asia, February 7, 2022