Beijing: Chinese students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have expressed resentment over inviting the Dalai Lama to deliver a keynote address at the university`s commencement ceremony in June. China has long insisted that the Dalai Lama is a political exile who has been engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion with the aim of breaking Tibet away from China.
Bonnie Glaser, Director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, viewed the protest by Chinese students as them trying to limit free speech in America."Let those Chinese students prevent freedom of speech in their own country. Not here. Not ever," she wrote on Twitter.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, many Chinese students view the situation differently, and the practice of protesting against commencement speakers is nothing new.In an opinion piece for the student-operated newspaper UCSD Guardian, Ruixuan Wang wrote, "The main reason why many Chinese students are upset is that our university shows little consideration about cultural respect, as he (the Dalai Lama) is a politically sensitive person in China."
A group of Chinese students plan to meet with the university`s chancellor to discuss the content of the upcoming speech and does not plan to ask the chancellor to disinvite the Dalai Lama, according to Quartz.Instead, the group plans to request that the chancellor "send out statements that clarify the content of Dalai Lama`s speech," "make sure his speech has nothing to do with politics," and "stop using words like `spiritual leader` or `exile`" to describe the Dalai Lama.