Cornell University has severed ties with a major Chinese university that is accused of suspending its students who were seeking more protections for low-income workers.
The university suspended a research and exchange program with Beijing-based Renmin University for taking harsh measures on students who supported the cause of workers.
Cornell’s move comes days after Renmin students protested against the university’s iron hand policy towards the students vouching for the worker rights.
“Their complicity in detaining students against their will is a serious red line for us,” Eli Friedman, an associate professor at Cornell who oversees the program, told The New York Times.
Earlier this year, China’s Communist government started its crackdown on the labor movement by detaining dozens of activists and monitoring their movement.
Meanwhile, Renmin students have hailed Cornell for taking a stand by cutting the ties.
“I appreciate what Cornell has done in support of academic freedom and labour activism, and I hope our university can reflect on its practices and restrictions for students,” a student told South China Morning Post.
In August, the University of North Florida closed a branch of the Confucius Institute, a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China, amid growing concerns over the Chinese influence on campuses across the U.S.