Monday, June 17, 2013
New York University has found itself in a painful position -- accused by a Chinese dissident of kowtowing to the Chinese government. The university is defending itself, but the charge is still sensational and likely to make the school think twice about helping the next dissident who leaves China. It is understandable why Chen Guangcheng thinks the way he does. He has experienced the power of the Chinese government to silence protesters. He knows NYU is starting an educational arm in Shanghai. It is easy to put the two together and to conclude that the government is pressuring the University. NYU has rebutted the charges, but it is still easy for the public to believe Guangcheng. The university, in other words, has a PR headache that only time will cure.