Letter to the Editor: Chinese students at CMU must stand in solidarity

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I am a Chinese doctoral student attending Carnegie Mellon University and have spent almost five years on campus. Since the first day I arrived at Carnegie Mellon, I have been surprised by the large Chinese or Chinese-American student community here. I sincerely appreciate the university's policies and assistance that make us feel at home — like the support to the Chinese Student Scholar Association (CSSA), language assistance to Chinese students, and other China-related extracurricular activities — while concurrently providing us with the same knowledge, English language abilities, and the values of the U.S. that are extended to any other students regardless of their nationalities and ethnicities.

However, a news article on this weekend concerns me a lot. A Carnegie Mellon professor of the Institute for Politics and Strategy, Kiron Skinner, made an anti-Chinese racist remark during the Future Security Forum of the think tank New America on April 29. When she talked about the escalating competition between the U.S. and China, she argued that "it's the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian." While I do not want to comment on her opinion toward the trade war and mounting tension between the two countries, I am offended by her claim that since China is not a country of Caucasians, it should be treated differently from other "white" countries by the U.S. I feel that this kind of remark from a Carnegie Mellon professor is in contradiction of the values held by the university, and perhaps also by this country. Considering the large population of Chinese at Carnegie Mellon, such a remark has a detrimental effect on many students and scholars because there is a professor holds such a discriminatory view.

I would like the university to take this incident seriously and assure Chinese students and scholars that they will be treated fairly, regardless of the trade war or other confrontations between these two countries.

The author is a Chinese doctoral student who wishes to be anonymous due to potential professional repercussions.