NJ Congressman “Blasts” NYU Shanghai Over Human Rights Violations

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Chris Smith, a Republican congressman from New Jersey, spent a day last week at NYU’s newest degree-granting campus in Shanghai. Smith, who has been an outspoken critic of NYU’s expansion into the East Asian nation, reportedly used the opportunity as a podium to “blast China for human rights limitations, including “muzzled” students and professors.” These accusations, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, come after a lengthy series of mishaps and lapses of communication and coordination between NYU and officials in China.One notable debacle occurred in Spring 2015, when star professor and celebrated philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah was unable to speak at a course at NYU’s Shanghai campus because he was not granted a visa to enter China. Despite the fact that Professor Appiah was initially hired with a “mandate to circulate between [NYU’s] domestic and international programs,” his inability to secure a visa from the Chinese government necessitated a lecture over spotty Skype calls.

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