Dutch university stops accepting donations from China


January 21, 2022


Dutch university stops accepting donations from China

VU University in Amsterdam. (File photo)

AMSTERDAM: The VU University in Amsterdam, a university that was under government radar for the possibility of spying for the Chinese government, will no longer accept donations from China to support a human rights center.

This comes after the revelation by a Dutch public service broadcaster NOS. According to documents in the hands of the broadcaster, the Cross Cultural Human Rights Center (CCHRC), whose mission is to “develop a global vision on human rights,” received between EUR250,000 and EUR300,000 from the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongging in 2018, 2019, and 2020, reported Dutch News.

In response, Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf stated that ‘knowledge institutes must be alert to unwanted influence from other countries’ while MPs stated that they will be questioning the government in parliament.

VU was one of two Amsterdam institutions to enter a contentious partnership with Chinese tech giant Huawei in 2020. The government has alerted both VU and UvA about the possibility of the corporation being involved in spying for the Chinese government.

Initially, the university justified the funding, but now says that even “a semblance” of favoritism in the center’s work has to be avoided. Earlier, several members of the center, according to NOS, have supported China’s human rights record in public and on Chinese state media.

Other institutes have not shown ‘signs of Chinese influence,’ according to the education inspectorate. (ANI)