Chinese student in US forced to apologise for commencement speech lauding freedom and fresh air in US

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, May 24:  A Chinese student in the US was forced to issue an apology after her commencement speech about celebrating the fresh air and free speech in the US became a subject of backlash from nitizens in mainland.

Shuping Yang, a psychology and theatre graduate from the University of Maryland was chosen by the faculty and staff as a speaker at the university’s commencement ceremony held on May 21.

18741310_1533402166704188_1176142881_nThe Chinese student from Yunnan province, in her eight-minute speech spoke about how she cherished the fresh air and free speech in US, how she was inspired to see her American classmates vote and take part in political protests, and how her belief that only authorities owned the narrative and could define the truth was shattered.

Her speech earned heaps of criticism from legions of Chinese nitizens who labelled it as belittling the motherland. Apart from the threats and insults to the Chinese student, netizens also demanded an apology from Shuping Yang and the Maryland University.

Buoyed by the outrageous responses that included jibes, insults and threats, Yang issued an apology on China’s twitter like account, Weibo and declared that she did not intend to belittle her motherland and hometown.

“I love my country and hometown and I’m proud of its prosperity,” she wrote on a Weibo post that has been closed to comments. “The speech was just to share my experiences overseas and I had no intention of belittling my country and hometown… I am deeply sorry and hope for forgiveness,” she wrote on her Weibo account.