Article on Party-run website chides academics for ‘smearing China’

By Yuen Yeuk-laam Source:Global Times Published: 2015-1-26 0:23:02

An article recently published on an influential Party-run magazine's website has spurred heated online discussion after criticizing some university professors for "smearing China."

The article, written by the publicity department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Ningbo Committee in Zhejiang Province and published on the website of Qiushi magazine on Saturday, which is run by the CPC Central Committee, discussed the current challenges of ideological work in colleges.

It said some academics have been venting "negative energy" in their classes, frequently using China as a negative example when explaining concepts, which crossed the "ideological bottom line," citing well known scholars He Weifang and Chen Danqing as particularly bad specimens.

"He Weifang promoted constitutionalism on his Weibo account while Chen Danqing [painter and author] published articles which overly-praised the US, and have caused obvious impact on the public."

He, a law professor with Peking University, denied the claim that his activities have had an "obvious impact on the public" on his Sina Weibo account.

He's entry was reposted more than 5,200 times as of late Sunday, drawing mixed reactions.

The article mentioned guidelines issued by the central government last week which request that Chinese universities strengthen ideological education and promote core socialist values.

"Detailed rules should be set to define proper criticism and smearing so that college teachers do not dare to smear or cannot mock China easily," it wrote.

Yin Yungong, an expert on the Chinese socialist system at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that netizens should be rational and understand that both sides - the media and the teachers - enjoy the right to express themselves within limits and both should be respected.

"The article only reflects the view of the writer and its cited websites. The author has the right to express his opinion while those being criticized also have the right to refute and to be refuted, but the content of their words must be lawful," he said.

But college teachers should educate students within the nation's educational framework, and avoid being inconsistent in their opinions inside and outside the classroom, Yin added.

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