China Agrees to Resume Fulbright Program
BEIJING (AP) _ China has agreed to resume participation in the Fulbright program but on a smaller scale than in recent years, the U.S. Embassy said Monday.
Chinese education officials agreed to send 16 Chinese scholars and students to the United States next fall to do research, and accept 16 U.S. professors to teach, said embassy spokesman Sheridan W. Bell. He said the embassy was still waiting a letter from the Chinese government to formalize the agreement.
China took part in the U.S. scholarly exchange program for a decade, with 24 scholars traveling in each direction in recent years.
It abruptly canceled the 1989-90 academic year exchanges in August in anger over U.S. criticism of the army’s killing of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing.
Talks on resuming the exchanges began in December, after U.S. National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft mae a fence-mending visit to Beijing.
The reduction in the number of scholars exchanges means fewer academic fields will be represented, Bell said, but he did not know which fields the Chinese had cut. Since June, Chinese authorities have stressed the need to learn from the West in technical areas, but have said fewer students in the social sciences will be sent abroad.
Resumption of the Fulbrights does not indicate that a complete healing of U.S.-China relations, deeply shaken by the June killings, is likely in the near future. That will not be possible as long as the U.S. Embassy shelters two fugitive Chinese dissidents, Fang Lizhi and his wife, Li Shuxian.
China has demanded the two surrender and face charges of counter- revolutionar y crimes, and shows no sign of softening that stance.
A range of people-to-people contacts are resuming slowly, however. Last week, four non-official U.S. delegations passed through Beijing - one to join in climbing Mount Everest, and the others to hold talks on trade or political relations.