(TibetanReview.net, Jul30’21) – A video transmission during a summit of more than 100 Nobel laureates in the United States held in April this year was disrupted “by a presumed cyberattack” after the organizers had rejected a Chinese demand that two of the scheduled speakers, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and Taiwanese chemist Yuan T Lee, be disinvited, calling them “secessionists,” reported nbcnews.com Jul 29.
The Nobel laureates have now expressed outrage over what they say was an attempt by the Chinese government to “bully the scientific community” during the Nobel Prize Summit held by the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Nobel Foundation.
Science Magazine, which first reported on the matter, has said the Nobel statement was delayed until the National Academies of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation had a chance to investigate.
The report said the incident came to light shortly after a confrontational meeting in China’s northern city of Tianjin between Chinese officials and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
“We are outraged by the Chinese government’s attempt to censor and bully the scientific community by attempting to prevent two of our fellow Laureates (or indeed anyone) from speaking at a meeting outside of China,” the laureates have been quoted as saying in their statement.
“The future of our planet will require collaboration between all nations and all scientists across the globe. Many of us have valued scientific colleagues and long-standing friends in China, with whom we interact productively. Unfortunately, actions such as those described above only serve to hinder such essential cooperation, and if continued, will affect our willingness to participate in events in China, particularly those fully or partially sponsored or supported by the Chinese government.”
Among the signatories was stated to be Steven Chu, a Chinese American who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1997 and served as the secretary of energy from 2009 to 2013.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, has not respond to a request for comment. But the Chinese state media Global Times has called the two men “secessionists,” adding, “US politics is severely poisoning international science.”
The US State Department has condemned the Chinese action. “This, unfortunately, is just another example of the PRC attempting to suppress free expression and bully people and institutions outside of China whose views and values differ from the Chinese Communist Party’s political agenda,” it was quoted as saying in a statement, referring to the People’s Republic of China.