Contemporary Justice Review, This issue positions second Amendment liberty guarantees against personal safety concerns and learning environment interests.
Toggle display of website navigation Feature: Some Chinese students are crying foul. It was a remarkable display of seemingly spontaneous patriotism.
The Chinese Embassy paid students to attend and helped organize the event. Working with Chinese Students and Scholars Associations CSSAs at local universities — a Chinese student organization with branches at dozens of schools around the country — government officials from the office of educational affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Washington collected the contact information of about students who had signed up to attend.
Embassy officials communicated with students via WeChat, a Chinese messaging app, during the event and into the night, responding to messages as late as 3 a. A similar arrangement had occurred in Februarywhen Xi visited Washington as vice chairman.
The association also surprised the students at the conclusion of the trip with a small cash payment. The CSSA president told students not to speak to the media about the money, according to one student who attended.
The association did not respond to a request for comment. The embassy-sponsored welcome parties, which lend an aura of power and popularity to the visiting leaders, are just one example of the close relationship that the Chinese government maintains with Chinese student groups across the United States.
That relationship often focuses on student safety and well-being. The growing ties are also concerning U. Although the extent of Chinese government funding and oversight of these organizations is not entirely clear and appears to vary from group to group, it seems to be more significant than previously known — and growing.
FP spoke to more than a dozen members of the group across the country including four current or former presidentswas given access to internal messages and documents, and reviewed the publicly available charters of dozens of these groups, in Chinese and English.
All of the students who spoke to FP requested anonymity for fear of potential reprisals. Internal correspondence reviewed by FP also show that consular officials communicate regularly with CSSAs, dividing the groups by region and assigning each region to an embassy contact who is responsible for relaying safety information — and the occasional political directive — to chapter presidents.
A few CSSAs explicitly vet their members along ideological lines, excluding those whose views do not align with Communist Party core interests. The Chinese Embassy did not respond to a request for comment on any of the issues raised in this article.
The groups typically host a variety of different cultural and social activities throughout the school year and can help students cope with the problems and stresses of student life. The number of Chinese students studying in the United States has skyrocketed from tens of thousands a decade ago to more than ,; nearly one in three international students is Chinese.
As the number of students has grown, so too has the need for help at universities. One Chinese student tells FP that the Chinese consulates have stepped in to fill a void for support not being provided by universities. But numerous CSSA members, including two current chapter presidents, say that they are uncomfortable with what they felt was growing ideological pressure from the embassy and consulates.
That pressure has become more apparent sincewhen the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a directive ordering schools to instill greater patriotism and love for the party in students of every age — including Chinese students studying abroad. Consular officials sent out requests to CSSAs around the country to hold events related to the plenum.
One such message, viewed by FP, encouraged groups to organize viewing sessions for their members to watch the opening ceremonies together, and requested that they send photos or reports of the event back to the consulate. Officials asked some groups to organize study sessions to discuss the party pronouncements coming out of the plenum.
These and similar requests have troubled some CSSA leaders.
He does not post the pro-party articles that the consular officials send to him, though he knows other CSSA presidents do. Maybe the policymaker is in Beijing, or in D.
Consular officials divide the regions into different umbrellas, with specific officials responsible for certain regions, and then create WeChat groups for the presidents of all the CSSAs in the region, with a consular official also a member of each group.
This allows officials to communicate announcements and requests directly to dozens of CSSA presidents by sending a single message. FP viewed a screenshot of one group that included nearly two dozen regional CSSA presidents receiving messages from a Chinese Consulate official.
The West Coast region has more institutionalized oversight. In some ways the umbrella group functions as a regional office to increase coordination and cooperation among campus CSSAs, holding annual elections from among its member CSSAs for its board of officers, and holding joint events.
Its bylaws state that all presidential candidates must first receive approval from the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles before the election can take place.
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