As the Chinese government threatens to expel foreign journalists and warns domestic reporters not to air “wrong points of view,” it turns to the country’s universities:
Chinese academia has increasingly had to bend to the will of the party, which on Dec. 23 publicly announced a new wave of Marxist campaigns in schools and colleges which will incorporate “socialist core values” in the curriculum. In 2013 alone, several prominent Chinese professors have resigned or been fired for bucking the party line. In October, the prestigious Peking University in Beijing dismissed economics professor Xia Yeliang, a noted advocate for multiparty elections, because of what it insisted was poor performance, leading Chinese netizens to question whether Peking University’s motto – “Follow the principle of freedom of thought with an all-embracing attitude” – still held true. Zhang Xuezhong, an outspoken legal scholar who championed free speech and constitutionalism, was fired in early December by East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, one of China’s leading law schools. That ouster led netizens to ask how many more scholars the Chinese academy would lose if universities continued to cave to political pressure.