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There has been an explosion of partnerships, exchanges, and programs between U.S. institutions of higher education and those in China. While made in the spirit of intellectual and scholarly collaboration, these relationships have proceeded without serious consideration of the practical and moral/ethical issues posed by dealing with authoritarian regimes. This presentation focuses on the case of Wellesley College’s relationship with Peking University as it unfolded in light of the persecution and dismissal of Chinese economist and dissident Xia Yeliang. This case illustrates the pressure that authoritarian‐controlled universities can exert on universities in a free society to overlook human rights violations.