College Students: Promote Human Dignity, Boycott Study Abroad Programs in China
With China's assaults on human dignity, and our federal government's refusal to speak out for the rights of the Chinese people, students need to be a voice for the innocent people of China by postponing study abroad programs in China until the government joins civilization and respects human beings.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, is funding and facilitating a $300 million scholarship program for Chinese and American students to study at the "MIT of China": Tsinghua University. His move to foster international immersion between the U.S. and China isn't novel, and while studying abroad to gain cross-cultural diplomatic and collaborative skills is always beneficial to a student's personal and professional development, China's abhorrent and unabashed human rights violations makes the establishment of this fund a step in the wrong direction.
In 1933, citizens of the U.S. and the U.K. boycotted German-made products, in response to Nazi assaults on Jewish shops. Obviously, the boycott did not curb the Nazis, but it did send a resounding message about respecting private property throughout the world. Americans stood by the Fifth Amendment: that a government does not have the right to deprive an individual of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". During the Cold War, America led the 65-nation boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest to Soviet expansion. Americans boast a proud history of using diplomatic sanctions to alert the international community of crimes against the innocent, and students who study abroad have the duty to promote the United States as a just nation.
Fast-forward to 2011, when the U.S. State Department's Human Rights Report documented allegations of organ harvesting from within Chinese prisons. Over 100 members of Congress, believing that the State Department was withholding evidence, petitioned Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to publicly confirm or deny these practices to no avail.
Exactly who are these prisoners marked for mutilation?
During the 1990s, the Falun Gong belief system spread throughout China, and the growing religious following became a threat to Marxism. Soon, practitioners were imprisoned in concentration camps. This year alone, ChinaAid published a report stating that sentencing for professing Christianity has increased by 125% since 2011. Even journalists whose reports criticize the regime are imprisoned.
Aside from organ harvesting, what else goes on in China? Women who are pregnant without state permission are hunted down and forced to undergo abortions. In 2009, the U.S. State Department published data revealing that 500 women commit suicide in China on a daily basis. Along with their signature stadium executions, China has also introduced mobile execution vans, which the Vice Chairman of the Criminal Affairs Committee of All-China Lawyers announced as "progress for China".
But what does any of this have to do with studying abroad? Promoting the current Chinese government via study abroad programs does not give priority to the rights of innocent, imprisoned Chinese citizens over international relations or student experience.
As Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise of New York said about the Nazi boycott, "We must speak out, if that is unavailing, at least we shall have spoken." With China's assaults on human dignity, and our federal government's refusal to speak out for the rights of the Chinese people, students need to be a voice for the innocent people of China by postponing study abroad programs in China until the government joins civilization and respects human beings.
Whenever you shop at a store in the heat of a controversy over an opinion held by one of that store's executives, you're signaling to people that you tolerate the opinions held by that executive. When you buy local, or purchase organically-grown food, or choose to bike to school, you're sending a message to everyone around you. Investing your money or time into something says, "I believe in this." When you study abroad in a country, you agree to respect and not violate the laws of that nation. As the old Latin proverb goes, "Silence implies consent." Traveling to a country as a student implies, without verbal or written expression, that you tolerate China's policies against innocent men, women, and children.
As next year's study abroad acceptance letters are starting to roll in, I'd like to challenge you to think critically about where you choose to gain your international experience, and whether you've placed gaining a professional edge over promoting human dignity.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2017
Young People. That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
Finding the right College
There's no magic formula for choosing a college, but there are steps you can take to find a good fit. Use this tool to start your journey.
Latest College News
One hundred and seventy-nine years ago, two Jesuit priests sold 272 persons at a slave auction. Their families were torn apart: many of ... continue reading
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday visited one of Rome's major institutions of higher education today: the UniversitÃ degli ... continue reading
The UCLA campus has been put on lockdown after reports of a shooter in the university's Boelter Hall were released via social media. ... continue reading
In a move reminiscent of the early 1900s, North Carolina State University segregated a student Christian group from the rest of the student ... continue reading
St. Mary's University in Twickenham, London has been formally approved to name one of their buildings after Benedict XVI. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Thursday, April 27, 2017
- Lesbian Nuns?! Hollywood director to create smut film disgracing ...
- St. Zita: Saint of the Day for Thursday, April 27, 2017
- Daily Reading for Saturday, April 29th, 2017 HD Video
- Irish priest's healing prayers offer MIRACLES - But who is he?
- St. Athanasius HD Video
- Pope Francis refuses bulletproof popemobile during Egyptian papal visit
- Day 7 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed HD
- Pope Francis surprises with TED Talk appearance and powerful message HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, April 28th, 2017 HD
- Day 6 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.