07/08/2013, 00.00
CHINA
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Beijing, political lawsuits are back in universities: teacher threatened with expulsion

The faculty of the prestigious Peking University must vote on the expulsion of Xia Yelang, an economist known for his liberal and democratic positions that criticized the "Chinese dream" of Xi Jinping. Currently in the USA, the teacher wants to return home to "help build a civil society in China."

 

 

Beijing (AsiaNews) - the faculty of Peking University - the most famous liberal University of China - will have to vote on the expulsion of professor Xia Yeliang (see photo), a economist known for his criticism of the "Chinese dream" of President Xi Jinping. The teacher affirms that not since Mao's time has a summary trial with final vote taken place to strike at the freedom of expression within the national universities.

Xia confirmed the rumor, which circulated online, through the South China Morning Post: "They to me that I will be judged for all the things I've said and written. They have threatened before, but this is the first time they will vote on my expulsion". In recent years, Xia has earned a reputation for being "democratic": a friend of Liu Xiaobo, the dissident Nobel Peace Laureate in prison for his "Charter 08", the academic has signed an appeal in favour of freedom of expression and democracy in China.

In 2009 Xia wrote an open letter addressed to Liu Yunshan - who until 2012 was head of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party - to demand an end to censorship. In 2011, during the first revolt of the Arab spring, he was put under house arrest to prevent him from talking to the population.

More recently he went so far as to write critical comments online even about the "Chinese dream", which has become the official slogan of President Xi Jinping. For this reason his accounts have been repeatedly closed: "In a comment I wrote that this slogan is contrary to our constitution and the concept of humanity".

At the moment the teacher finds himself in California, where he is a visiting scholar at the prestigious Stanford University. However, he plans to return home by the end of August: "I have opportunities to stay [in the US], but I want to keep teaching in China. I hope that my students become useful for the creation of a civil society in the country: I want to be there to help them. I will fight the expulsion".

 

 

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