The College Fix reported that the University of Minnesota has refused to comment on a situation involving a student who was sent to a Chinese prison for a series of Twitter posts he made while he was stateside.
“We just became aware of this situation when media began reaching out yesterday,” university spokesman Jake Ricker told The College Fix in an email on Thursday, January 23, 2020. “The university has not issued a statement on the matter.”
Spokespersons for Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota both remained silent when The College Fix made comment requests.
On Tuesday night, a Chinese-language Twitter account published court documents showing that the 20-year-old University of Minnesota student Daiqing Luo had been arrested back in July in his home city of Wuhan.
According to an Axios report released Wednesday, Luo was charged with posting over 40 tweets that criticized a “national leader.” These tweets included satirical depictions of Chinese President Xi Jinping. One of the tweets featured the infamous Winnie the Pooh image, which has been banned in China after social media users likened the bear to Xi.
According to Axios, Luo was in detention for months following his arrest before he received a six month sentence for “provocation.”
“The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government’s attempts to shut down free speech abroad and a global expansion of a Chinese police campaign to track down Twitter users in China who posted content critical of the Chinese government,” the Axios report indicated.
Ricker, the university spokesman, informed other media outlets the university doesn’t “have any information about the situation.”
Kris Olds, a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told The College Fix that American universities should be stepping up to protect their students.
“Given the emergence of select government strategies to engage in surveillance practices regarding students studying abroad, I think universities need to develop comprehensive & up-to-date education programs to ensure their international students know what is happening, why, and how, so that students are fully aware of this evolving situation,” Olds said to The Fix in an e-mail.
“We also have to ensure we treat all of our students, including students studying abroad, and international students studying at US campus, the same with respect to levels of support when troubles emerge due to acts that occur when they are students,” said Olds. “In such a case, this may include legal assistance, consular support, engagement with security units, family support, and so on.”
“All of our registered students deserve equal and fair treatment regardless of their citizenship or location on the planet,” Olds stated.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse demanded that China release Luo. “This is what ruthless and paranoid totalitarianism looks like,” Sasse told Axios.
Thanks to Trump’s confrontational stance with China on the tariff war, China’s façade is off.
People are starting to recognize China’s authoritarian legacy, which still lives on in present-day Chinese Communist Party.
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Will Italy Exit the EU Because of its Lackluster Response to the Wuhan Flu?
Affar Italiani reports that leader of the Italian political party League and former Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini recently announced a possible withdrawal of Italy from the European Union due to its sluggish response to the Wuhan Virus.
“This is crazy. Europe needs another fifteen days to decide what to do, whether to help, whom and how. In the midst of an emergency when people die, now from pneumonia, tomorrow, possibly from poverty,” the politician stated
Salvini cited Italy’s confrontation with the EU over aid to fight against the Wuhan virus and the refusal of Germany and other Northern European countries to help Italy as reasons for the southern European country leaving the EU and the eurozone.
“This is a den of snakes and jackals. First we defeat the virus, then remember Europe. And, if necessary, we say goodbye. Without even thanking,” the former Minister of Internal Affairs asserted.
The EU used to serve a purpose as a common market for European members states and a cohesive political unit the prevented fratricidal wars between European states.
It could also serve as a civilizational defense bloc against the potential hordes of African and Islamic migrants that will continue coming into the region thanks to its lax border policies and the demographic realities in these regions — booming populations which many of these Third World countries cannot accommodate.
Salvini has every reason to be concerned.
If the EU cannot fulfill the most basic of government functions — protecting its members — Italy should leave and craft its own strategic regional bloc with countries that are serious about protecting their national sovereignty.
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