Chinese officials are arresting, detaining, and convicting civil rights and defense lawyers in the country. The Times has an editorial today (July 30) - "the crackdown is undoubtedly intended to crush the 'rights defense' movement, which aims to defend the rights of individuals in a legal system rife with corruption and abuse," says the Times, which has reported on the issue throughout the month.
Yet China is a popular spot for western law schools to offer semester abroad classes and a necessary venue for intentional firms to open offices.
NYU is among those schools. New York students can spend a term studying with Chinese faculty at an NYU facility near Shanghai.
I'm not arguing for a boycott. But the only alternative is not silence. What is the correct response? One worry is that the Chinese faculty who teach US-based students may not have the same intellectual freedom in those classrooms as we have here. And what about the US lawyers and firms based in China? Do they have a responsibility?
I realize that China is not the only nation about which these questions can be asked.