A prominent Chinese dissident is blaming pressure from Beijing for the end of his fellowship at New York University. "The work of the Chinese Communists within academic circles in the United States is far greater than what people imagine, and some scholars have no option but to hold themselves back," says Chen Guangcheng, who fled house arrest in China for the US Embassy last year. "Academic independence and academic freedom in the United States are being greatly threatened by a totalitarian regime."
NYU—which recently opened a campus in Shanghai—says it is "puzzled and saddened" by Chen's claims, noting that the fellowship was only ever meant to be for one year, the New York Times reports. Chen's remarks contain "speculations about the role of the Chinese government in NYU’s decision-making that are both false and contradicted by the well-established facts," a university spokesman says, adding that NYU will continue to help Chen and his family.