Princeton students in Chinese politics class will use code names to protect their identities from Hong Kong national security law

Princeton University.
(Image credit: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

The national security law China imposed on Hong Kong is affecting universities in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Professors who teach classes related to China at schools like Princeton University are developing ways to protect their students' identities to help them avoid running afoul of the security law, which allows Beijing to pursue violators even outside Hong Kong. Just recently, Samuel Chu, a naturalized American citizen from Hong Kong, reportedly was included on a list of fugitives being sought under the law after he lobbied U.S. Congress to sanction Beijing over its actions in his former city.

Rory Truex, an assistant professor at Princeton who teaches a class on Chinese politics, told the Journal he will have his students turn in their work with a code rather than a name so they aren't linked to any views or arguments China might consider in violation of the law. However, he made it clear "we cannot self-censor."

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Harvard Business School, meanwhile, is reportedly trying to introduce amnesty for students — including Americans — worried about the consequences of discussing politically sensitive topics, meaning they won't be penalized for a lack of class participation.

One thing academics reportedly feel is particularly worrisome is that, because of the coronavirus pandemic, many universities will continue to practice remote learning. Subsequently, students from Hong Kong and China may have to connect with their U.S. classmates through video links, and there are fears the classes could be recorded and land in the hands of Chinese authorities, jeopardizing those international students' safety. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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