Academic Freedom
Chinese Academics Detained > Other Petitions and Letters

Letter from Harold T. Shapiro, President of Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-0015
President's Room

April 17, 2001

President Jiang Zemin
c/o Ambassador Yang Jiechi
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Dear President Jiang:

I am writing to express my deep concern about the detention by Chinese authorities of Dr. Li Shaomin, a United States citizen and graduate of Princeton University who currently is a member of the business faculty at the City University of Hong Kong.

Dr. Li is a respected scholar in the field of demography who received his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University in 1988. He is well known to several distinguished members of our faculty who have joined with hundreds of other members of the international academic community in the field of China studies to express their concern about the recent detention of Dr. Li and other academic researchers in China.

My understanding is that Dr. Li has been in detention since February 25 without being charged. Since he is an active researcher and scholar, there is great concern that his detention may be related to his academic activity, and thus could have a chilling effect on scholarly engagement between the United States and China. Princeton is one of many universities where there has been much fruitful scholarly collaboration and student exchange with China in recent years. As I am sure you appreciate, these activities depend on respect for the freedom of academic inquiry and the thoughtful pursuit of academic research.

As President of Princeton University, let me again express my concern about Dr. Li's detention and my hope that this matter can be resolved as promptly as possible.


Harold T. Shapiro
President, Princeton University

cc: Ambassador Yang Jiechi

Letter to Jiang Zemin

Leading Academics Protest Detentions
HRW Press Release

Other Petitions and Letters

Biographies of the Detained Scholars

Press Conference Co-sponsors

Press Conference Speakers

HRW Academic Freedom Program

China: Human Rights Deteriorate
HRW Special Focus


Dr. Gao Zhan, released

Dr. Li Shaomin, released

Dr. Xu Zerong, detained days