China's Education Minister, Yuan Guiren, has been speaking out about the threat of Western values and ideas on China’s college campuses. He said, “Young teachers and students are key targets of infiltration by enemy forces,” and added that “some countries,” fearful of China’s rise, “have stepped up infiltration in more discreet and diverse ways.” Can the government’s latest attempts to tighten controls over China’s intellectual discourse succeed? That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
Robert Daly is director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center. He came to the Center from the University of Maryland, and prior to that was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. He began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s. After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television and theater projects in China, where he was the first American to have major Chinese-language stage and screen roles, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs. During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations. He lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin and Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.