Beijing (AsiaNews) - Xia Yeliang, a professor of economics at Peking University
(PKU, aka Beida), has been expelled. According to the university, he was not a
good teacher, but bloggers have rallied behind him because, as a liberal
economist, he has always supported China's democratisation and is a friend of
A committee at
Peking University's School of Economics voted 30 to 3 to expel Xia, after 15
years of employment. He will remain at the University until 31 December, when
his contract formally expires.
Known for its
views in favour of an open economy, Prof Xia is a personal friend of Liu
Xiaobo, Nobel Prize for Peace, who was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison on
charges of "attempting to overthrow the state" by drafting Charter
08, a manifesto calling for religious freedom and democracy in China.
Xia helped Liu draft
this important document, and in 2009, he wrote a letter to the country's
leadership criticising restrictions on academic freedom.
comes at a time when the country's leaders are tightening control over bloggers
and intellectuals who spread "rumours" critical of the regime.
In a statement
posted on its microblog account two days ago, Peking University said that Xia was the school's worst-ranked teacher and the source of 340
student complaints since 2006.
on Sina.com have come to his defence,
saying that more liberal professors like him are needed, people who are making
sacrifices in their life to defend the Chinese people, whilst many others only