Statement on Recent Sanctions against Academics and Think Tanks

The Fairbank Center is proud to support our scholars’ freedom to explore a huge variety of topics relating to China, as well as their independence to explore this research beyond restrictions or pressures from any institution or government.

Last week, we learned that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China had announced the imposition of sanctions against our academic colleagues in Europe and the United Kingdom over their roles in shining a light on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, among other reasons.

As the late Professor Ezra Vogel argued on multiple occasions: dialogue fosters understanding, and the open exchange of people and ideas between China and the world is of mutual benefit. In times of high tension, more and not less exchange is needed to deepen our shared comprehension of one another and to help to improve ties across political borders.

The Fairbank Center fully intends to continue our support for open exchange based on respect and scholarly integrity. Our research, affiliates, public lectures, and outreach efforts all highlight the power of these exchanges to not only to help us better understand China and East Asia, but also to include those from China as participants in these conversations.