China blocks US think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies website following critique on sanctions

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Beijing has blocked the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) website in China
, after the Washington-based group released a piece criticising the country’s sanctions on a European think tank.This latest page in deteriorating US-China relations
 comes as academic exchanges wither and the Communist Party steps up efforts to spread its world view well beyond its borders, scholars say.

“It’s ironic that this piece would generate that response from China, given that the whole point was to … reduce restrictions, which is what China’s been pushing for in arguing against decoupling,” said CSIS fellow Scott Kennedy, who co-wrote the critique.

“The biggest change lately is that China now believes it has the right to police debate about China wherever it occurs in the world, whoever does the work, on whatever platform that it appears.”

The tit-for-tat saga started last month when the

European Union– generally more accommodating toward China than Washington – slapped sanctions

on four Chinese officials and the Xinjiang public security bureau over human rights abuses. The announcement was coordinated with the

United StatesBritain and Canada.
Beijing has blocked the Centre for Strategic and International Studies website in China. Image: ShutterstockBeijing has blocked the Centre for Strategic and International Studies website in China. Image: Shutterstock
Beijing has blocked the Centre for Strategic and International Studies website in China. Image: Shutterstock
Beijing has blocked the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) website in

China

, after the Washington-based group released a piece criticising the country’s sanctions on a European think tank.

This latest page in deteriorating

US-China relations

comes as academic exchanges wither and the Communist Party steps up efforts to spread its world view well beyond its borders, scholars say.

“It’s ironic that this piece would generate that response from China, given that the whole point was to … reduce restrictions, which is what China’s been pushing for in arguing against decoupling,” said CSIS fellow Scott Kennedy, who co-wrote the critique.

“The biggest change lately is that China now believes it has the right to police debate about China wherever it occurs in the world, whoever does the work, on whatever platform that it appears.”

We Stand with Merics” said the CSIS piece written by China fellows Bonnie Glaser, Jude Blanchette, Matthew Goodman and Kennedy, terming China’s move short-sighted, self-defeating and part of a “darkening trend” in academic exchange. Then followed Beijing’s CSIS website block.

 “The timing looks more than coincidental given that we’d published the piece the day before,” said Kennedy.