Discussion of Xi Jinping’s biography in Germany canceled under Chinese pressure

Discussion of Xi Jinping's biography in Germany canceled under Chinese pressure

A book review of an autobiography on Chinese President Xi Jinping was canceled in Germany under Chinese pressure. German media reported this on Monday. Journalists Adrian Giggs and Stefan Ost will publish their book on Wednesday Xi Jinping, the most powerful man in the world During an online lecture organized by the Confucius Institute in Hannover. The Institute of Chinese Language and Culture said on Tuesday that the meeting had been moved to Duisburg due to a “disagreement with Chinese partners”. According to publisher Piper Verlag, the presentation in Duisburg was canceled after Chinese intervention.

In a statement, Leibniz University, of which the Confucius Institute in Hannover is affiliated, stated that it was “in no way involved in the realization or cancellation”, but that the reason for canceling the book’s presentation was “unacceptable, surprising and unwise.” The Confucius Institute in Metropolis Ruhr has canceled the alternative lecture at the University of Duisburg-Essen. in a Financial Times Piper Verlag claimed on Tuesday that the Chinese consul in Dusseldorf, Feng Haiyang, insisted.

in a the scientist Author Ost said Monday that he was “extremely surprised” by the cancellation: “I could not have imagined pressure from Beijing to prevent us from discussing our book.” According to him, the book is a “very sober and realistic” treatise on Xi Jinping’s career. Niedersachsen State Science Minister Björn Thummler (CDU) reprimanded the Confucius Institutes on the NDR radio station: “Everyone who lives and learns with us must recognize academic freedom and freedom of speech.”

Confucius Institute

Confucius Institutes are controversial around the world for their close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Officially, the organization aims to promote the Chinese language and culture, but as a result of events in America and Belgium, among other things, there are rumors that the institutes are pursuing a secret agenda. For example, it would undermine academic freedom and the independence of educational institutions abroad, or use them to spy on knowledge.

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Read also: Confucius Institutes feel no pressure from the Chinese side

In the Netherlands, the organization has departments at the Hogeschool Zuyd in Maastricht and the University of Groningen. Leiden University ended the cooperation in 2019, because the institute was “no longer in line with the University’s China strategy”. The Groningen department came under fire in February of this year, when it emerged that a Confucius Institute-funded Chinese professor had not been allowed to damage China’s image under his contract.

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