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DPP criticizes sacking of Chinese democracy advocate

2013/10/21 22:35:55

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) "highly regrets" Peking University's decision to sack a scholar who called for democratic reforms in China, a DPP official said Monday.

"Unless the fundamental difference between China and Taiwan on the question of respect for fellow human beings is narrowed first, any talk of peace and common development across the Taiwan Strait is simply empty rhetoric," said Hung Tsai-lung, the DPP's director for China affairs.

Whether the academic community enjoys complete freedom is an important indicator in the transition from dictatorship to democracy and a barometer of a university's academic status in the world, he said in a statement.

The sacking of Xia Yeliang is detrimental to Peking University's efforts to upgrade its standing and will also have a negative impact on Chinese President Xi Jinping's bid to fulfill the Chinese dream of achieving a national renaissance, Hung added.

The faculty of the university's School of Economics voted earlier this month to dismiss Xia by a 30-3 vote, with one abstention, in a closed session, Xia told reporters on Oct. 18. He started teaching at the university more than 13 years ago.

Xia has spoken out publicly in support of democracy in recent years. In 2008, he helped draft Charter 08, which calls for sweeping changes to China's one-party political system. The manifesto landed its main champion, Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, in prison.

(By Sohpia Yeh and Jay Chen)