COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Newsroom

I very much appreciate getting the monthly e-mail from the Middlebury Newsroom and learn about events at the college. However, the most recent story about the Schwarzman Scholars raises problematic issues about the level of independence that these accomplished Middlebury students will be accorded while in Beijing. While on the surface, Steven Schwarzman’s, close contacts with the highest echelons of the Chinese Government and Communist Party could be seen as an advantage in that the Schwarzman scholars would get the best experience possible in their study of China. But the combination of the former Chinese financial support of Schwarzman, along with his founding the of Schwarzman
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College at Tsinghua University shows an uncomfort- ably close connection with a regime that is even in the past months, more rapidly consolidating its control over China, including freedom of expression. Recent articles in the Washington Post last March, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-china-whisperer-how-billionaire-stephen-schwarzman-has-sought-to-keep-the-president-close-to-beijing/2018/03/11/67e369a8-0c2f-11e8-95a5-c396801049ef_story.html?utm_term=.48c389fcb306 along with the NY Times report today, in Xi Jinping’s talk about China’s economic advance in the past 40 years, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/world/asia/xi-jinping-speech-china.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront lead one to inquire if Ms Alvarado could question the ecological impact of Chinese mining in Latin America and if Mr.Mohamed could express concern about how China ends up creating a “debt trap” for countries who cannot pay for the infra- structure projects that are presented to them in a favorable light. Our MIddlebury students should be ready to defend their questions and to assume that the 20 Chinese students enrolled with them will carefully observing them. I hope that their stay in China will be a good learning experience, regardless of the lessons they learn. Sincerely, Charlie Buell ‘63
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by Charles Buell (not verified)