In recent weeks, the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University became embroiled in controversy when as a professor who has deep ties with China discouraged students from discussing the ongoing suffering of Uyghur Muslims.
The professor is Peter Nolan, director of the China Center at Jesus College, part of the University of Cambridge. According to the transcript obtained by Open Democracy, during a meeting in November 2020, Nolan advised students to avoid open discussion about the Chinese government’s human rights violations against Uyghurs because such discussion would lead to “unhelpful” and “contentious” outcomes.
In response to China’s treatment of Uyghurs, Nolan claimed the Chinese government is facing challenges that “all countries that have any kind of minority at all” have faced, and added that there is no “homogeneous, correct view of what is happening in Xinjiang.”
Nolan also discouraged any discussion about Hong Kong because he thought such discussions might offend students from the Chinese mainland. In addition, he worried the college would