Te-Ping Chen reports: A Chinese committee removed a retired professor from his role with an association after he spoke with foreign media, exemplifying the findings of a new report that ranks China among the world’s worst violators of press freedom.
Human rights activists say Chinese citizens regularly face retribution for making critical comments about China to the media, especially foreign media, but such cases don’t often come to light.
The former professor’s dismissal emerged after the nonprofit Reporters Without Borders this week released a new index that ranks China as the world’s fifth-worst country for press freedom, after Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea. It called China the “world’s leading prison” for citizen journalists.
The organization, based in Paris, described Chinese President Xi Jinping as “the planet’s leading censor and press freedom predator,” noting that more than 100 journalists and bloggers are currently detained in China.
Since Mr. Xi took power, Chinese universities have also broadly come under greater scrutiny, with officials calling for teachers to resist Western influences in the classroom. The former professor was dismissed from his role following an inspection by Beijing authorities, who have been stepping up such scrutiny at universities.
A statement describing the professor’s case appeared on the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s website Wednesday. The statement didn’t offer many details, but said the professor had worked at the Chinese Academy of Governance, a school that trains government officials. The school declined to comment.
News of the professor’s dismissal fueled a backlash on social media. Some people expressed incredulity at the fact that … (read more)
Te-Ping Chen with contributions from Fanfan Wang