Chinese students fear backlash after inflammatory speech

Chinese students in the United States have dismissed claims made by US Vice-President Mike Pence that their official groups representing them are part of a Communist Party effort to “foster a culture of censorship”, though they did express concerns of a backlash from the inflammatory remarks, write Simone McCarthy and Kristin Huang for South China Morning Post.

In a recent speech in Washington, Pence accused Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) of alerting consulates and embassies whenever students, or their American schools, “stray from the Communist Party line”. “Anyone who knows me personally will find it absurd to think I’m a spy,” said Huhe Yan, a final-year student at Columbia University in New York, who comes from Hohhot, capital of north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region. “For me, the worry is not so much how my peers at the school will treat me differently because of this rhetoric … [ it’s that] biases and insecurity tend to translate into aggression, whether that be on the global stage or on the street in America.”

More than 350,000 Chinese are currently studying in the US – accounting for about a third of its international student body – and many are puzzled by what they see as a complete misunderstanding of why they are there.
Full report on the South China Morning Post site