U.S. writer Peter Hessler to leave China after losing his teaching job | News in China


The New Yorker writer wrote that the Chinese university where he teaches non-written fiction has not renewed his contract for the next school year.

American writer and New Yorker magazine writer Peter Hessler says the Chinese university where he teaches non-fiction writing has not renewed his contract for the next school year and that he will leave the country in end of semester.

Hessler has been an assistant professor at Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute in Chengdu since 2019.

She has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 2000.

In a statement shared via social media platform Douban on Sunday, he said he expected to continue teaching at the university but he was not given a contract for the next school year. Reached by Reuters news agency, Hessler said he declined to comment other than the statement.

“I want to convey that I am very happy to be back in class after more than twenty years,” the statement said.

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

Hessler’s friend He Yujia, who posted the statement on his behalf, said it was later taken from Douban and he was not notified.

Minking Chyu, dean of the Sichuan University Pittsburgh Institute, said Hessler works under a contract that requires annual changes.

“His current contract is nearing the end of this final year of school and Peter and the Institute will not be able to reach a new contract in progress. This situation is always common for temporary ones. teaching the academic community around the world, ”he said in an email response to Reuters on Tuesday.

The Chinese foreign minister told Reuters on Monday that it was unaware of the situation.

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

Hessler, 51, has written four well-known English books in China since his first transfer as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer English teacher in the mid-1990s in a small southwestern city, which became the basis of his non-fiction in 2001. book “River Town”.

Chinese-language translations of three of Hessler’s books in China are available on the mainland, and a New Yorker piece published in August was praised nationally for its description of how China tackled the COVID- 19 assault.

In March, Hessler participated in the China Development Forum, a high-profile government-run event, where he spoke to a panel of media perspectives on how the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan was handled. , the city in China where it first appeared.

China has increasingly suppressed foreign influence in its education system in recent years, and last year introduced draft rules that would see foreign teachers fired for “words and deeds” deemed harmful. on the sovereignty of the country.

It also shut down foreign media and expelled more than a dozen journalists working for U.S. media organizations in 2020 as U.S. relations were strained due to the coronavirus pandemic, China’s treatment of Uighurs and so on. aka contentious conflict.

Washington also slashed the number of journalists at four major state-owned media outlets allowed to work in the U.S..





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