(TibetanReview.net, Feb11’22) – Chinese students have forced Mark Lodato, the dean of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, to issue a statement on Feb 10 to apologise for having listed Hong Kong and Tibet among countries alongside China in his Lunar New Year celebrations email on Jan 31.
Lodato’s apology had come after several mainland Chinese students and alumni protested on Instagram against his Jan 31 message, reported w.dailyorange.com Feb 11.
In his Jan 31 email message, addressed to all Newhouse students, staff and faculty, Lodato had said, “Lunar New Year is celebrated by billions around the world, including those in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Tibet, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, among others, and of course thousands of members of our Syracuse University and Newhouse families.”
And in his Feb 10 apology he had said that his previous statement “was meant to observe, celebrate and recognize the multicultural nature of the Newhouse community. Making the school an inclusive, welcoming and comfortable space for everyone is a top priority for him.”
And he has said it was a “mistake” to include Hong Kong and Tibet alongside China in a list of countries, as it implied they are not part of China.
“I know that is incorrect. It was a mistake to present the list that way, and I apologize,” Lodato has said.
He has spoken of having met with several students – apparently Chinese – who shared concerns about the Jan 31 message.
A Tibetan student was reported to have disagreed with the Chinese students in a social media post, stating that Tibetans don’t consider themselves to be part of China, and mentioning human rights issues in Tibet.
Hong Kong, though not a country, issues its own passport and takes part as a separate entity in many international bodies and events, including the Olympic Games, on account of its status as a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Tibet however, is an occupied territory, although China, which annexed it after the founding of the PRC in 1949, falsely calls it a part of China since ancient times.