Chinese professor detained after criticizing communist leadership

  • A Beijing law professor known for speaking out against the CCP was taken from his home Monday.
  • Local authorities have not disclosed any information about the professor or his location.

A law professor in China was taken from his home by police Monday following vocal criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and its leadership. This news comes as recent polls have shown that a growing number of young Americans favor China's system of government- Communism - over Capitalism. 

Xu Zhangrun, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, was detained on charges of interacting with prostitutes, according to the New York Times. His friend, Geng Xiaonan, said the professor saw it coming: “He kept some clothes in a bag hanging inside his front door, so he wouldn’t have to go without a change when they took him away.”

"necessary to call for an end to the ever-increasing censorship"   

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NPR reported that  Xu had publicly criticized the Chinese Communist Party, nationalism in China, and President Xi Jinping, which resulted in his being made a political target. A writer, Xu freely expressed his beliefs regarding the dangers posed by the Chinese government online -- and faced penalties for it. 

Tsinghua University took measures against him last year, removing teaching responsibilities and denying him the opportunity to teach graduate students. His social media accounts were deleted, and publishers were forbidden to accept his work. 

In particular, Xu came under fire in 2018 for criticizing the removal of the two-term limit for China’s leader, which, as WKZO reported, has allowed Xi Jinping to remain in office past his second term. Xu has recently called for freedom of speech in China.

[RELATED: China's presence at US colleges runs much deeper than Confucius Institutes]

The New York Times reported that Xu told an Australian Sinologist who translated much of the professor’s work that he expected authorities to “try and get him on soliciting prostitutes” more than two years ago. Neither the university nor local police has yielded information concerning Xu or his whereabouts. 

“In China it is necessary to call for an end to the ever-increasing censorship and to give freedom of expression back to the intelligentsia,” the professor wrote in a 2018 essay. “Only then will it be possible to face unfolding possibilities with clear-sightedness, or to be able to respond calmly to immediate challenges so that we can apply ourselves to practical service in the world.” 

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Maria Copeland
Maria Copeland | Virginia Campus Correspondent

Maria Copeland is a Virginia Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. She is originally from Herndon, Virginia and received her Associates of Arts in Communications from Northern Virginia Community College this May. She will attend James Madison University in the Fall. While on campus, Maria was Gupta Family Foundation Scholar, Vice President of the Loudoun Student Government Association, Vice President of the Loudoun Writing Association, and a Student Ambassador for the Honors Program. She was also a Page for the Fairfax County Public Library. Maria was also a Campus Reform intern Summer 2020.

20 Articles by Maria Copeland