A renowned professor has confirmed online rumours that his peers will decide whether he will be expelled from China's most eminent university after he made a series of remarks in favour of free speech and constitutional governance.
Economics professor Xia Yeliang of Peking University was told by his department that his fate would be decided by a faculty vote, he told the South China Morning Post on Monday.
"They told me it's because of all the things I have said and written," Xia said. "They have threatened me before, but this is the first time they will vote on my expulsion."
My correspondent says that the vote will likely take place in September. He also reports that this is not an isolated incidence. He writes, "Though you may not be aware, there is a quiet crack down currently under way in China with other professors being removed for similar offenses....I can tell you from my personal experience here, most Chinese faculty at PKU and other elite Chinese institutions having been educated at top schools in the US are appalled but are quite fearful to speak out."
Here are some questions to think about: If a professor at the prominent Peking University is fired for exercising free speech, how should professors in the United States respond? For example, should American scholars refuse to attend conferences and give talks there? Is there more we can do?