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HK Seminary Denies Political Factors behind Cancellation of Visit

The Hong Kong-based leading seminary China Graduate School of Theology (CGST) denies that the invitation cancellation was due to any polictical factor. However, the reason is still unknown.
( [email protected] ) May 17, 2006 12:28 PM EDT

The Hong Kong-based leading seminary China Graduate School of Theology (CGST) denies that the invitation cancellation was due to any polictical factor. However, the reason is still unknown.

Overshadowed by all kinds of speculation, the director of Chinese Culture Research Center of CGST Dr. Yeung Hing-kau has spoken up for the very first when reached by Radio Free Asia. His subordinate Dr. Kevin Xi Yi Yao was the one who has signed the letter to Yu Jie and Li Baoguang about the cancellation of the visit.

Yeung claimed that the visit is supposed to be merely an academic exchange activity. Denying that the invitation cancellation was due to any political factor, he said that the school had already made an apology to Yu Jie and compensated all losts of the two guests caused by the cancellation.

According to the Hong Kong-based Christian newspaper Christian Times, President Wilson W. Chow emailed to the entire school on May 15, regarding the invitation cancellation. In the letter, he stressed that the school had received no pressure from anybody but he did not give any other reason.

The email was quoted by Christian Times. It says "I would like to tell you all that no churches, Hong Kong governing bodies nor mainland government units have tried to reach me or Dr. Yao. He and I have received no pressure from anybody. The cancellation is simply a decision made by the school and Dr. Yao has already explained why in his letter to Yu Jie."

Yeung met Yu jie, a house church worshipper in an event of Chung Chi Christian Festival last month. He invited Yu to join CGST's training programme in June.

On May 11, Yu, Li Boguang and some other activitists met US President Bush at the White House on religious freedom. This causes an international concern. The day after their high-profile meeting with Bush, Yu and Li received an email from CGST. It says, "Regarding certain international issue that has raised widespread concern recently, we believe that it is not an appropriate time to invite you to come to Hong Kong at this moment."


Yu Jie was unsatisfied with this reason for the act of cancellation. He wrote a post on the official website of "China Aid Association" requesting CGST to make a public apology to them. This results in concerns of many international media such as BBC on the issue of academic freedom.

CGST has not yet given a clear explanation to the public for the cancellation of the invitation to Yu. It keeps stressing that "The issue is now over".