Hong Kong’s hardline justice secretary will not have his honor taken away by King’s College London.
Despite a desperate appeal from its own academics, a university funded by millions of dollars from China has refused to remove an honor bestowed on Hong Kong’s hardline justice secretary.
Teresa Cheng, the woman behind the arrests of journalists and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, has been denied a prestigious college fellowship by King’s College London on multiple occasions.
Lord Geidt, as chair of the university’s governing council, received a letter from more than 20 academics from King’s College law school, requesting that Ms Cheng’s fellowship be revoked.
However, after more than a year, King’s leaders wrote back to the academics, refusing to remove Ms Cheng’s award, claiming that her ‘considerable work’ supporting former students deserved it.
Ms. Cheng, who has been sanctioned by the US government for her role in suppressing democratic rights in Hong Kong, went on a tirade last week against “appalling” foreign politicians and organizations who had called for the release of journalists in the region.
Despite bosses apologizing last April to staff who complained about Prince Philip’s ‘history of racist and sexist comments’ at the university’s picture tribute commemorating his death, King has refused to remove Ms Cheng’s honor.
In 2019, the university revoked the Sultan of Brunei’s honorary doctorate after his country made homosexuality punishable by death by stoning.
Ms Cheng’s honour should be revoked, according to Eva Pils, a law professor at King’s who was one of those calling for it to be revoked.
‘It makes me feel very uneasy personally, and I find it an absolute embarrassment that she is still being honored in this way,’ she added.
‘I teach Hong Kong students and am aware of what they’ve just gone through.
She is clearly to blame.
Ms Cheng’s honor was revoked in 2019 after she was a key figure in the drafting of the extradition bill that sparked protests in Hong Kong.
Thousands of Chinese students are thought to have paid millions in cash to study at King’s, and the university has received £660,874 from Huawei, the controversial telecoms giant, since 2019.
‘The fact that King’s can’t condemn someone like Teresa Cheng for her role in the crackdown on peaceful democracy campaigners is completely hypocritical,’ Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith said.
‘They daren’t say a word when it comes to a serious issue of great import because they are so completely reliant on China.’
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