Hubei University investigates professor for online comments involving HK separatists

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/27 17:58:06

Hubei University Photo: Hubei University

A professor from Hubei University is being investigated after being suspected of publishing improper online comments supporting Hong Kong separatists and visits to Japan's controversial Yasukuni Shrine years ago. 

Hubei University has launched an investigation after some netizens accused Liang Yanping, a teacher from the School of Chinese Language and Literature at Hubei University, of publishing improper comments online, the university said late Sunday. The move was supported by many people online, as the authorities in 2018 published guidelines stressing morality of university professors and lecturers.

Hubei University said it attaches great importance to the issue and will punish the teacher accordingly after an investigation.

Some netizens claimed that she came to the public eye after writing a lengthy article supporting and praising Fang Fang, the author of "Wuhan diary." 

"Fang Fang's writing is human-centered, for the people, and for humanitarianism and humanism," Liang wrote in an article titled "Fang Fang is facing the shock head-on."

Liang and Fang Fang had interactions on Sina Weibo when the former published the article, which generated widespread discussions online. 

After news came out that Fang Fang would publish her "Wuhan diary" overseas in English and German, many people accused her of being a "traitor." 

Hubei University previously said Liang was investigated for her anti-government comments published in previous years.

Chinese netizens revealed that Liang had published several anti-government comments on her Weibo in previous years, with some posts supporting Hong Kong separatists and visits to Japan's controversial Yasukuni Shrine, while some comments indicated her support of Japan invading China. 

Hubei University released an announcement on April 24, which was later deleted, saying Liang was being investigated for publishing improper comments on her Weibo account last year. 

The statement said Liang had been given severe punishment, had promptly deleted the relevant comments and made a personal review. 

There hasn't been any report that anyone is punished for voicing support for Fang Fang. 

A post on Liang's WeChat in November 2019 is suspected of commemorating a Hong Kong separatist. 

Liang wrote, "Zhou Zile, farewell" accompanied by pictures of him. Zhou is also known as Alex Chow, a student protestor in Hong Kong who advocated "Hong Kong independence" and died after falling from the ledge of a car park in November 2019.

In another post dated to 2013, Liang forwarded a Weibo post which wrote "Japan denied aggression against China but said to save 'Sick man of East Asia,' which seems reasonable."

After Hubei University officially announced it was investigating Liang on Sunday, many hailed the move, saying, "With such low morality, Liang did not deserve to be a teacher in a leading Chinese university."   

"Such an irresponsible teacher may harm generations of young students. How could a university teacher make comments that damage national interest?" another netizen on Weibo said, expressing the hope that Liang would receive a harsh punishment.

In a statement by the Ministry of Education in 2018, the ministry highlights the importance of morality among university teachers, as they shoulder the mission of educating students and being ethical models for them. 

If university teachers are found to be guilty of actions of poor morality, they can be warned, punished if the situation is serious, be removed from their posts or face a criminal sentence.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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