10/07/2021
10 Jul 2021

How China bought Cambridge

10 Jul 2021

How China bought Cambridge

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Ian Williams
How China bought Cambridge

One of the first places Professor Stephen Toope visited as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University was the Chinese embassy in London. He posed for photographs with ambassador Liu Xiaoming and the two men discussed furthering the ‘golden era’ of China-UK relations. Shortly after that 2017 meeting, Toope told Xinhua, China’s state news agency: ‘There will be more opportunities to engage actively with China, a country with an extraordinarily growing influence which a university like Cambridge must pay attention to.

How China bought Cambridge
David Abulafia
What’s behind Cambridge’s anonymous reporting system?

Here is a challenge. Cambridge University provides an electronic Daily News Digest to anyone who wants to see how the university is being reported in the press. Will the News Digest include this article? On past form, that seems unlikely. When arguments arose in the past few weeks about Cambridge’s Report + Support website, which offered the opportunity to make anonymous denunciations against individuals deemed to have committed ‘micro-aggressions’ (such as being critical of a student’s work, even if it is bad, or praising the English of a non-native speaker), the Digest went quiet.

What’s behind Cambridge’s anonymous reporting system?
Marcus Walker
Is this the last chance to save the Church of England?

I am a key limiting factor. That’s a new one for a clergyman of the Church of England. We’ve traded under parson, cleric, priest, minister, padre and even pie-and-liquor, but never before have I heard us described as ‘key limiting factors’. That this phrase was used during the announcement of a new official C of E scheme — to create 10,000 new lay-led churches in the next ten years — adds future injury to present insult.

Is this the last chance to save the Church of England?
Poppy Royds
Why everyone should try streaking

One evening a few summers ago, I convinced a friend to run with me up Portobello Road completely naked. As we reached the finish line, we could hear the sirens in our wake. We were accosted by two policemen. I was convinced they would throw us in the slammer. Instead, the officers gently told us that it would be wise to put our clothes back on. One of them, having seen my body gleaming in the pale moonlight, suggested that I should really consider getting a tan.

Why everyone should try streaking
Tom Holland and Francis Fukuyama
Marxism, football and Trump’s demise: Tom Holland and Francis Fukuyama in conversation

TOM HOLLAND: The title of your latest book, a book of interviews, is After the End of History. This alludes to what I guess must still rank as your most famous book and I wonder: is the fame of that book a burden? Do you feel like a famous rock star whose fans want him to play the greatest hits? FRANCIS FUKUYAMA: You know, it is really only when I meet up for interviews with journalists who want to talk about very general types of topics that the issue comes up.

Marxism, football and Trump’s demise: Tom Holland and Francis Fukuyama in conversation
Andrei Lankov
Lil’ Kim: should the West prepare for chaos in North Korea?

On 24 June, North Korean state TV aired a short interview with an unnamed Pyongyang resident. The man, who appeared to be in his fifties, said that his fellow countrymen had all been left heartbroken and in tears when they saw the new, ‘emaciated’ look of Kim Jong-un. The country’s hereditary dictator, who hadn’t been seen in public for a month, recently re-emerged looking rather different. Even now it’s a bit of a stretch to call him ‘emaciated’, since his estimated body weight is nearly 19 stone.

Lil’ Kim: should the West prepare for chaos in North Korea?
Jess De Wahls
How I was stitched up by the Royal Academy

Recently I found myself cancelled by the Royal Academy. It was a strange affair, and this is how it happened. I’m an artist who makes a living out of creating intricate hand-embroidered portraits and flowers. I was working in my garden one afternoon last month when a glance at Instagram took me aback. My friend Laura was defending me against… well, I didn’t quite understand who or what. Laura was at work and couldn’t talk, so it was only later that evening that I began to realise what was going on.

How I was stitched up by the Royal Academy
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