China clamping down on coronavirus research

Posted by freemexy on April 2nd, 2021

China is cracking down on publication of academic research about the origins of the novel coronavirus, in what is likely to be part of a wider attempt to control the narrative surrounding the pandemic, documents published online by Chinese universities appear to show.To get more news about china industry research centers, you can visit acem.sjtu.edu.cn official website.

Two websites for leading Chinese universities appear to have recently published and then removed pages that reference a new policy requiring academic papers dealing with Covid-19 to undergo extra vetting before they are submitted for publication.

Research on the origins of the virus is particularly sensitive and subject to checks by government officials, the notices posted on the websites of Fudan University and the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) said. Both the deleted pages were accessed from online caches.Prof Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, said the Chinese government had a heavy focus on how the evolution and management of the virus is perceived since the early days of the outbreak.

“In terms of priority, controlling the narrative is more important than the public health or the economic fallout,” he said. “It doesn’t mean the economy and public health aren’t important. But the narrative is paramount.”
With the virus having infected more than a million people worldwide and caused heavy casualties particularly across Europe and the US, details about its origin and the first weeks of the pandemic – when there was a cover-up by local officials – may be considered particularly sensitive.

“If these documents are authentic it would suggest the government really wants to control the narrative about the origins of Covid-19 very tightly,” said Tsang of the reports of new regulations.China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) appears to have published and then deleted new requirements that academic papers dealing with the origins of the virus be approved by China’s ministry of science and technology before publication.

The university’s academic committee was expected to first go through the research “with an emphasis on checking the accuracy of the thesis, as well as whether it is suitable for publication,” the regulation said.“When the checks have been completed, the school should report to the Ministry of Science and Technology [MOST], and it should only be published after it has [also] been checked by MOST,” it said.A separate document obtained by the Guardian, which could not be independently verified, appears to be from the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and also said publication of research into the origins of Covid-19 would need approval from the science and technology ministry.

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