Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Communists Delete Posts About Resisting Thought Control
(RFA.org) - China's internet censors are deleting online references to an article posted by a senior academic hitting out at those who cave in to the growing politicization of university life under President Xi Jinping.
The article was reportedly posted by Li Chenjian, vice dean of Peking University's Yuanpei College, and hit out at "shamelessness and cynicism" in academic circles, saying that freedom doesn't just rain down from the sky, but has to be bought at a heavy cost.
An objective look at the past 5,000 years of history shows that those with any real backbone have been few and far between," the article, a copy of which was posted to the U.S.-based China Digital Times website, said. "Most people have been supine in the face of power, or have fought on its behalf."
"During the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, how many people served as collaborators, suppressing their consciences and slandering their colleagues in a cynical bid to protect themselves?" the article, which comes as Chinese universities scramble to launch research institutions for the study of Xi Jinping Thought, said.
"Freedom is never free," the article said. "It never rains down from the sky, but must be won at great cost by people of courage and spirit."
Online searches for the article behind the Great Firewall on Monday yielded no results. Some Twitter account-holders said their accounts on the WeChat social media platform, which is tightly controlled by government censors, had been deleted after they posted about the article.
Written in memory of Peking University's founder Cai Yuanpei, for whom Yuanpei College is named, the article recalled Cai's own struggles against the Qing dynasty authorities of his time, during which he resigned eight times.
"Our education system cultivates astute and well-behaved liars, not defenders of the truth: it has nothing to do with knowledge and is all about the personalities involved," Li wrote.
"We should use the pen as our banner to make humble, but uncompromising protests," the article said. "At the very least, we shouldn't sell out on our dignity and independence."
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