China embassy: Issue vs Sino students reeks of ‘McCaRthyism’

China embassy: Issue vs Sino students reeks of ‘McCarthyism’

The Chinese Embassy in Manila has accused Filipino politicians who are linking the influx of Chinese students in Cagayan province to the West Philippine Sea dispute of “inciting suspicion and hatred of China.”

Without elaborating, it attributed the presence of the Chinese students in the country to “education exchanges and cooperation” between Manila and Beijing that had been “growing fast” in recent years.

READ: Some Chinese students in Cagayan allegedly pay P2 million to get degrees


Meanwhile, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) confirmed that a “significant number’’ of Chinese students are enrolled in one private university in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, but none in the public colleges and universities in the province.


“Individual Philippine politicians are hyping up China-Philippines maritime issues… to serve their political agenda and self-interest and undermine China-Philippines cooperation,” the Chinese Embassy said in a statement on Thursday.

“The unfounded accusation of our educational exchanges is yet another malicious sleight of hand to incite suspicion and hatred of China,” it added.

‘McCarthyism’ in PH

“McCarthyism resurrecting in the Philippines,” the embassy said, alluding to a period in United States history that saw the political persecution of suspected communists in government and society at the height of the Cold War in the 1950s. American Sen. Joseph McCarthy was the dominant political figure at the time who, even without proof, led the sensational witch hunt.

READ: Senators sound alarm over Chinese students’ activities in Cagayan

The embassy statement was in response to two members of the House of Representatives who recently called attention to the increasing number of Chinese enrollees in schools particularly in Cagayan, a northern province facing Taiwan.

Citing national security concerns, the lawmakers—Cagayan Rep. Joseph Lara and Isabela Rep. Faustino Dy V—also noted that their provinces—which are both in the Cagayan Valley region—host three Edca sites where American forces are given access. Edca stands for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States.


Just in one university

According to CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III, a “significant number” of Chinese students are currently enrolled in Saint Paul University Philippines (SPUP) in Tuguegarao City.

Being an institution with an autonomous status granted by CHEd and the Bureau of Immigration, SPUP may partner with “recognized foreign higher education institutions.”

“This authority given to selected universities to enroll foreign students is the reason why there is a significant number of students from India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, Nepal, Korea and other countries in Philippine schools,” De Vera said.

Attractive cost, quality

Foreign enrollees, he added, are “attracted by the affordable cost of quality education” in the Philippines, the use of English as local medium of instruction, and the “globally recognized quality’’ of the courses particularly in medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, public health and engineering.

The CHEd has yet to receive complaints against SPUP concerning any violation of the rules governing the admission of foreign students, De Vera added.

He said the commission would leave it to the concerned security agencies whether issues raised against the Chinese students’ presence merit a full-blown investigation.

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“We will support and attend congressional investigations and other inter-agency meetings concerning these allegations. We welcome and shall cooperate should any investigation be required,” he said.

TAGS: Ched, Chinese students

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