The United States confirmed that it has suspended its Fulbright Program with mainland China and Hong Kong. There are thousands of scholars who signed petitions against it.
On July 14, Trump signed an executive order to end the preferential treatment enjoyed by Hong Kong. There is also a clause in the executive order stating that the United States will suspend Fulbright programs with mainland China and Hong Kong. On the evening of the 25th, that the United States has confirmed that it has suspended. The report mentioned that more than 1,500 people have signed a petition organized by Fulbright project members and alumni against the US decision. The United States established an international exchange project called “Fulbright Program” in 1946, and China is the first country to participate in the project. Now China is not available on the Fulbright program map.
The U.S. State Department informed American scholars preparing to participate in the project in an email, that the 2020-2021 Fulbright exchange program “will not operate”. However, it allows participants to apply to participate in programs in other countries.
The Fulbright Program
Led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.
The Fulbright Program Country Map Without China
The Sudden suspension of the interaction in the United States has caused resentment among many participants
The latter argues that the US move is counterproductive and will damage a mutual understanding, and of heightened tensions between the US and China.
A petition signed by Fulbright project members and alumni, had more than 1,500 signatures, saying that “because of the state of US-China relations today that Fulbright’s work is more needed, not less”.
Rachel Wong, a member of Fulbright Lotus, a group of Asian and Asian-American members who supported the project, also said the US government’s move was a “huge blow” to US high school students and academics. “Fulbright’s entire mission revolves around cultural diplomacy and cross-cultural communication, and this executive order violates that,” Rachel said. “This will also have an impact on our society: we cannot harvest breakthroughs in collaborative research.”
On July 16, the Michigan-based Association for Asian Studies also issued a statement saying that the decision to suspend the project was really “extremely short-sighted” and would “have a profound impact on US foreign affairs.”