Chinese professor sacked over U.S. trip

March 30, 2005 at 4:23 AM
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BEIJING, March 30 (UPI) -- A Beijing University professor has been fired after accepting a six-month fellowhip from the National Endowment for Democracy.

Outspoken journalism professor Jiao Guobiao was dismissed for "leaving his post on his own," said Zhao Weimin, spokesman for the university's journalism school, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.

Jiao had been suspended from teaching since September after he published an article denouncing the Communist Party's propaganda department. The article, which was widely circulated on the Internet, called for the department to be abolished, saying its "voodoo-style thinking" and "authoritarian power" were keeping the mainland in the "dark ages," the Post reported.

The university had offered to transfer Jiao to its Center for Ancient Chinese Classics and Archives after suspending him from teaching journalism. The professor rejected the offer, accepting instead the invitation from the Washington-based non-profit institute.

Jiao left for the United States March 16 despite having his leave application rejected by the university. The decision to fire him was made the next day.

In an earlier letter to university leaders published by Yazhou Zhoukan magazine, Jiao said he would apply for a teaching post in Taipei if Beijing University fired him.

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