U.S. Education Secretary Signs Partnership with Chinese Communists Who Put Dissidents in Re-Education Camps
Duncan signed the 2009 Joint Statement of Exchange and Cooperation with the Chinese Minister of Education Zhou Ji on April 16.
The documents signed by both Secretary Duncan and Zhou Ji include, among other items, the following initiatives:
“The U.S. Network for Education Information (USNEI) Web site be expanded to include links to the academic accreditation Web site in China and other countries (timeline 2009 and forward), and MOE links to USNEI.”
“Consultation with the higher education community (academic institutions and organizations) take place on direct collaboration with China or the United States that includes the sharing of best teaching practices and deepening of existing ties (timeline 2009-2013).”
State Councilor Madame Liu, the highest ranking woman in the Chinese government, was the spokesperson for the Communist Chinese dignitaries at the meeting.
“Secretary Duncan, you have been so courageous in carrying out reform in the field of education, I’m sure that’s also the reason why President Obama has nominated you as the education secretary,” she said through a translator.
“Cooperation in education between our two countries can go way back into the past as a long tradition and also meets our immediate needs,” she said.
Duncan said that the United States of America and the Peoples Republic of China face similar challenges.
“It amazes me how absolutely similar the challenges are and the huge sense of urgency that we both share,” said Duncan at the meeting.
“We worry a lot about equality of opportunity and we think the only way to move children and families out of poverty is through quality education,” said Duncan. “We also think we have to raise the bar and raise standards for everybody because our expectations are too low.”
Leading human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Harry Wu, who has documented many of China’s human rights abuses and crimes, said the United States cannot learn anything from the Communist Chinese educational system.
“The United States cannot learn anything from China, okay?” he said. “But we [the Chinese] want to go there to study the systems and study the culture and find out the best way for America to handle the China case.”
The State Department’s Human Rights Report on China, dated Feb. 25, 2009, states that the Chinese government puts political dissidents into reeducation through labor camps.
“The government reportedly continued to limit access to mosques, detain citizens for possession of unauthorized religious texts, imprison citizens for religious activities determined to be ‘extremist,’ pressure Muslims who were fasting to eat during Ramadan, and confiscate Muslims' passports to strengthen control over Muslim pilgrimages,” the report reads.
“Following violent clashes in western Xinjiang during the Olympic Games, XUAR (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) authorities imposed widespread detentions, restricted movement within the XUAR, and established curfews in some cities,” reads the report.
“XUAR party secretary Wang Lequan declared in September that the XUAR government would carry out ‘preemptive attacks,’ implement ‘antiseparatist reeducation’ across the region, and increase policing of religious groups.”
Harry Wu said you cannot compare China’s way of governing with that of the United States.
“The Communist Party is talking about dictatorship; talking about totalitarian. How to handle the dissidents – that is Laogai [re-education] camps,” said Wu.
“You cannot [function in China] without it. Laogai and freedom and democracy are incompatible. That is very clear,” he said.
The Laogai Research Foundation estimates there are at least 1,000 laogai prisons functioning in Communist China today, holding more than 6 million prisoners. The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press) estimates that at least 65 million people have been killed or died as a result of China’s Communist policies.