American writer Peter Hessler leaves China after losing his teaching position | Wall Street Journal China News

The writer of The New Yorker said that the Chinese university where he teaches non-fiction writing has not renewed the contract for the next academic year.

American writer and writer of The New Yorker magazine Peter Hessler said that the Chinese university where he has been teaching non-fiction writing has not renewed his contract for the next academic year, and he will leave China at the end of the semester.

Hesler has been an assistant professor at Pittsburgh College of Sichuan University in Chengdu since 2019.

Since 2000, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker.

He said in a statement shared on the social media platform Douban on Sunday that he had hoped to continue teaching at the university but did not get a contract for the next academic year. Reuters contacted Hesler and said he declined to comment outside the statement.

The statement said: “What I want to emphasize is that after more than 20 years, I like to go back to the classroom very much.”

It added that Hesler and his family will return to Colorado in the summer and did not elaborate on why his contract was not renewed.

Hessler’s friend He Yujia issued the statement on his behalf. He said that it appeared to have been deleted from Douban and she was not notified.

Minking Chyu, Dean of Pittsburgh College of Sichuan University, said Hessler has been working on a contract that needs to be renewed every year.

“His current contract will expire at the end of this academic year. Peter and the Institute will not be able to reach a mutually agreed new contract in the future. This situation is very common in temporary appointments in the global academic community,” he told Reuters on Tuesday. Said in the email reply.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Reuters on Monday that it had no knowledge of the situation.

The New Yorker and Douban did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Since the 51-year-old Hessler moved to a small city in the Southwest as a volunteer English teacher for the United States Peace Corps for the first time in the mid-1990s, he has written four famous English books on China, which became his 2001 non-fiction basic book ” River City.

Three Chinese translations of Hessler’s books on China are available on the mainland, and an article in The New Yorker published in August last year was praised domestically for describing how China is responding to the COVID-19 epidemic.

In March, Hessler participated in the China Development Forum, a high-profile government-sponsored event, where he discussed the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, the city where the COVID-19 outbreak first appeared in China, in a panel on media views.

In recent years, China has increasingly curbed the influence of foreign countries in its education system. Last year, a draft rule was issued in which foreign teachers will be fired because their “words and deeds” are deemed to be detrimental to national sovereignty.

As relations with the United States have fallen sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic, China’s treatment of Uighurs, and the deteriorating trade dispute, it has also been suppressing foreign media and expelled more than a dozen American media organizations in 2020. reporter.

Washington has also reduced the number of reporters in the four major Chinese state-owned media that are allowed to work in the United States.

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