China’s top university sacks prominent law professor for criticizing dictatorial party rule

Xu Zhangrun, law professor at the Tsinghua University.

(, Jul20’20) – The dictatorship of the Communist Party of China is the cardinal principle underlying China’s constitution and laws and it has just been brought home to Xu Zhangrun, outspoken Chinese law professor of the Tsinghua University, who has been formally notified of his removal from his post on Jul 18.

Xu has been sacked from his post in China’s top university for being a critic of the ruling Chinese Communist Party leadership including the constitutional amendment facilitating indefinite tenure for President Xi Jinping by scrapping the two-term limit, reported PTI news agency Jul 19, citing the South China Morning Post.

The university, whose alumni includes president Xi, and where 57-year-old Xu has worked for 20 years, has said it took the decision after a meeting on Jul 10.

Xu, a prominent legal scholar, is said to be one of very few academics who have publicly challenged the Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership in recent years in a number of essays published online in China and overseas.

“We have verified that Xu Zhangrun has published many essays since Jul 2018 and it is a serious violation of the ’10 standards of professional conduct for teachers in tertiary institutes in the new era’,” the notification dated Jul 15 was stated to read.

The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Education in 2018, was reported as saying that teachers would be fired or punished if they said or did anything that undermines the authority of the CPC or violated the directions and policies of the party.

Xu was in 2019 suspended from the university but he continued to write essays critical of the party leadership.

Earlier this month, he was taken away by Chengdu police from his Beijing home on a trumped up charge of soliciting prostitutes while travelling to the capital of Sichuan province. Xu was released on Jul 13 and returned home after six days of detention.

In February and May, Xu was reported to have published two lengthy articles, openly criticising the CPC leadership for mishandling the coronavirus. He had lamented how his country was isolated and the public gagged by fear and big data surveillance.


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