Professor Xu Zhangrun Who Criticized Chinese President Xi Jingping About Detained Coronavirus


Xu blamed Xi’s culture of deception and censorship for the spread of the coronavirus in China. (File)


Chinese authorities arrested a law professor on Monday who published essays criticizing President Xi Jinping on the coronavirus pandemic and accusing him of ruling “tyrannically”, according to friends of the man.

Xu Zhangrun, a rare government spokesperson in the highly censored Chinese academic community, was abducted from his home on the outskirts of Beijing by more than 20 people, one of his friends said on condition of anonymity.

Xu published an essay in February accusing Xi’s culture of deception and censorship of the spread of the coronavirus in China.

“Chinese leadership system itself destroys governance structure,” Xu wrote in the essay published on overseas websites, adding that the chaos in the epicenter of the Hubei province virus reflected systemic problems of the Chinese state.

China is “ruled by one man, but this man is in ignorance and reigns in a tyrannical manner, without a method of governance, although he is skilful in playing with power, which makes the whole country suffer”, wrote Xu.

He also predicted that an ongoing economic slowdown in China would cause “declining national confidence”, as well as “political and academic outrage and social atrophy”.

The law professor at Tsinghua University, one of the country’s main institutions, had already spoken out against the abolition of the limits of the presidency in 2018 in an essay published online.

A friend said on Monday that a man who claimed to be the police called Xu’s wife – who lived separately in a college residence – to say that Xu had been arrested for allegedly requesting prostitution in Chengdu City, in southwest of China.

Xu traveled to Chengdu last winter with a number of liberal Chinese academics, although it is unclear whether the arrest was related to the trip, the friend said, calling the allegation “ridiculous” and shamelessly. “

Xu was placed under house arrest last week, the friend said.

After Tsinghua allegedly banned Xu from teaching and conducting research in 2019, hundreds of former Tsinghua students – and academics around the world – signed an online petition calling for his reinstatement.

Censorship on the rise

Tsinghua and the Beijing public security authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

Freedom of expression in China has always been tightly controlled by the Communist Party, but this grip became suffocating under Xi.

Last year, a Chinese court sentenced “cyber-dissident” Huang Qi, whose website reported on sensitive subjects, including human rights, to 12 years in prison for “leaking state secrets “.

Space for independent discussion has shrunk further this year as Xi’s government has sought to divert blame from the coronavirus, which scientists say has emerged from a wildlife market in Wuhan.

Chen Jieren, a former journalist with the Communist spokesman for the People’s Daily, was found guilty in May of “picking quarrels and unrest” and publishing “false” and “negative” information.

Ren Zhiqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party and a millionaire property tycoon, was also arrested after writing an essay fiercely criticizing Xi’s response to the epidemic.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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