Chinese scholar warns US on university 'spies'
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A prominent Beijing scholar who recently fled to the United States warned Thursday that China was sending "spies" to US universities and urged caution on academic cooperation.
Xia Yeliang is one of the original signatories of Charter 08, a bold petition for reform whose Nobel Prize-winning lead author Liu Xiaobo is in prison. Mr Xia, an economist, was fired in October from Peking University, often considered China's most prestigious university.
In his first public event since moving to the United States last month, Mr Xia said he was mindful of the 1950s McCarthyist era, when smears of alleged communist sympathies sullied the reputations of Americans in government, entertainment and academia.
But Mr Xia, who has been a visiting scholar at several US universities, said he was aware of "real spies" sent by China to the United States to carry out surveillance in the guise of academic exchanges.