D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

The Academicians

Coronavirus: outspoken academic blames Xi Jinping for 'catastrophe' sweeping China

Xu Zhangrun says culture of suppression and ‘systemic impotence’ have created the crisis that has killed more than 1,000 people

Xu Zhangrun (Chinese: 许章润; pinyin: Xǔ Zhāngrùn; born October 1962) is a Chinese jurist. He is a professor of Jurisprudence and Constitutional Law at Tsinghua University, and a research fellow with the Unirule Institute of Economics.

A prominent Chinese intellectual has become the first high-profile public figure to lay the blame for the coronavirus crisis at the feet of the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, saying the spread of the deadly virus has “revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance”.

As the crisis expands across the country, Xu Zhangrun, a law professor from one of the country’s top universities, lambasted the government under Xi in an essay titled: Viral Alarm, When Fury Overcomes Fear. In it, Xu blamed the current national crisis on a culture of suppression and “systemic impotence” that Xi has created. The virus has now killed more than 1,000 people inside China.

“The cause of all of this lies with The Axelrod and the cabal that surrounds him,” Xu writes, referring to Xi, according to a translation of the article by historian Geremie Barmé published on Monday by the website ChinaFile.

“It is a system that turns every natural disaster into an even greater man-made catastrophe. The coronavirus epidemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance; the fragile and vacuous heart of the jittering edifice of state has thereby shown up as never before.”

A group of Chinese academics, including Xu, have signed an open letter calling for the government to issue an apology to the deceased doctor, Li Wenliang, and for freedom of speech and rights guaranteed by the constitution to be protected. Over the weekend, a woman was photographed in Shanghai holding a sign calling for freedom of speech.

Xu, who was suspended from his position last year after publishing a similarly critical essay of Xi, does not refer to the leader by name but uses other terms to refer to him. In his essay he urges citizens to call for “five demands”, a reference to anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The demands he lists relate to freedom of speech and assembly, as well as the right to vote in open elections and an independent body to investigate the response to the coronavirus crisis.

“The ancients observed that ‘it’s easier to dam a river than it is to silence the voice of the people’. Regardless of how good they are at controlling the internet, they can’t keep all 1.4 billion mouths in China shut. Yet again, our ancestors will be proved right,” he wrote.

Quoting the poet Dylan Thomas, Xu wrote in closing: “I join my compatriots – the 1.4 billion men and women, brothers and sisters of China, the countless multitudes who have no way of fleeing this land – and I call on them: rage against this injustice; let your lives burn with a flame of decency; break through the stultifying darkness and welcome the dawn.


China’s age of anxiety

Rowan Callick

 August 07, 2018

Chinese lawyer with a higher degree from the University of Melbourne has issued a rare, powerful critique of China’s “New Era” — the period of increasing centralisation, control and personalisation of power since Xi Jingping became president. Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at Tsinghua University, one of China’s half dozen top higher-education institutions, published the powerful 10,000 character essay, “Our Dread Now, and Our Hopes,” on the website of the Unirule Institute of Economics, a liberal think tank that has challenged the return of authoritarianism.

“Yet again,” Xu writes, “people throughout China — including the entire bureaucratic class — are feeling a sense of uncertainty, a mounting anxiety both in relation to the direction the country is taking as well as in regard to their personal security. These anxieties have generated something of a nationwide panic.”

The feelings are prompted by the fact that China’s recent “national orientation” has betrayed the principles of the reform-and-opening period (1978–2008) initiated by Deng Xiaoping following the Cultural Revolution. For Xu, these principles “reflected a minimum consensus that was understood by the entire populace for the sake of peaceful co-existence.”





Hello everyone, welcome to the special program "Internet Game" of Radio Free Asia. I am the host of the show, Xiao An.

Audience friends, recently, Professor Xu Zhangrun, a well-known liberal jurist of Tsinghua University, has been widely concerned by international public opinion because of the repression of his speech. 57-year-old Xu Zhangrun published an article in July last year, listing various signs of retrogression in Chinese society, such as revising the constitution and canceling the term of office of the supreme leader. On March 25 this year, the news that Xu Zhangrun was withdrawn from all positions by Tsinghua University and suspended for investigation was spread overseas. Tsinghua University has set up a working group to focus on investigating his articles published after July 2018, which is widely reported by overseas media in recent days.

mp3 audio in Mandarin 15 minutes


                                               Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo: China tells US not to interfere over jailed dissident

The political activist, who is serving an 11 year term on subversion charges for calling for greater democracy, has been moved to hospital after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.

His wife Liu Xia, who is under house arrest, says it is beyond treatment.

The Nobel laureate was diagnosed with cancer on 23 May, lawyer Mo Shaoping told the South China Morning Post. He was released days later and is now being treated in the northern city of Shenyang.

"We call on the Chinese authorities to not only release Mr Liu but also to allow his wife Ms Liu Xia out of house arrest," US embassy spokeswoman Mary Beth Polley said.


This picture released by the family of Liu Xiaobo taken on March 14, 2005 shows 2010 Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (L) and his brother Liu Xiaoxuan in Guangzhou in southern China.

(Handout/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo released from prison, suffering from liver cancer

The Washington Post

Emily Rauhala Simon Denyer

June 26, 2017

BEIJING — China’s only Nobel Peace Prize winner and most famous dissident, Liu Xiaobo, was released Monday from prison on medical grounds to treat his advanced liver cancer, his lawyer told The Washington Post.

Liu, 61, who participated in the 1989 pro-democracy Tiananmen Square demonstrations, became the first citizen of the People’s Republic of China to win the Nobel Prize in 2010 for advocating greater freedoms in his country — and is the only laureate currently serving a prison sentence.

He was arrested in 2008 and subsequently sentenced to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” China has held him incommunicado since — in hopes of erasing any memory of him, according to colleagues and rights activists.


                                                       Liu Xiaobo  刘晓波

Liu Xiaobo (Chinese: 刘晓波; pinyin: Liú Xiǎobō) (born 28 December 1955) is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is currently incarcerated as a political prisoner in Jinzhou, Liaoning.

Liu's writing is considered subversive by the Chinese Communist Party, and his name is censored. He has called for multi-party elections, free markets, advocated the values of freedom, supported separation of powers and urged the governments to be accountable for its wrongdoings. When not in prison, he has been the subject of government monitoring and put under house arrest during sensitive times.

On 1 December 2009, Beijing police transferred Liu's case to the procuratorate for investigation and processing; on 10 December, the procuratorate formally indicted Liu on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" under and sent his lawyers, Shang Baojun and Ding Xikui, the indictment document. He was tried at Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court on 23 December 2009. His wife was not permitted to observe the hearing, although his brother-in-law was present. Diplomats from more than a dozen states – including the U.S., Britain, Canada, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand – were denied access to the court to watch the trial and stood outside the court for its duration. Amongst these included Gregory May, political officer at the U.S. Embassy, and Nicholas Weeks, first secretary of the Swedish Embassy.


                                                             SHENG Hong

An Explanation on Confucianism by Economics

Published by Economic Press China

Professor SHENG Hong

An Explanation of Confucianism by Economics (《儒学的经济学解释》), the latest work of Professor SHENG Hong, Director of Unirule, is published by Economic Press China (中国经济出版社). This book compiles some of the Professor SHENG’s most recent research on Confucianism and provides an alternative illustration of Confucianism in economic terms.


                                       FANG Shaowei

Biweekly Symposium No. 551:
Illustrating the Logic of Political Collapse.
Lecturer:  FANG Shaowei
Host: QIN Sidao
Commentators: LEI Yi, WU Si, JIA Xijin

Mr. FANG Shaowei started his presentation by introducing the lack of an argument on how political collapse happens in the neo-institutional economics which is established by theories such as Buchanan’s public choice, Olson’s collective action, Kaplan’s collective faith, De Mesquita’s political loyalty, North’s open opportunity, and Acemoglu’s inclusive system. Mr. FANG’s new book The Logic of Political Collapse aims to explain how political systems collapse whatsoever. Mr. FANG dismissed many traditional theories that tried and failed to illustrate how political systems came into collapse following the evolution of political institutions.


                                         XU LIANGYING


Physicist Liangying Xu has been awarded the 2008 Andrei Sakharov Prize by the APS for his efforts to promote human rights in China. Inspired by Albert Einstein, Xu has been a lifetime advocate for democracy, free speech, human rights, and academic freedom.

Throughout his life, Xu continued to advocate for human rights.  In 1981, he cited Einstein on the need for freedom of speech for scientific progress. Xu felt the government was not adequately supportive of basic science, and that more academic freedom was needed both for scientific progress and for human progress.

In 1989, astrophysicist Fang Lizhi wrote an open letter calling for the release of political prisoners. At the same time, Xu and friends wrote an open letter calling for democracy, protection of human rights, and free speech. The letter was signed by prominent dissidents, including many scientists. This and Fang’s letter served as inspiration to the students who gathered in Tiananmen Square in 1989 to protest against the Chinese government and to call for democratic reforms. (Xu did not attend the demonstration due to a recent heart attack.).

Xu continued to appeal for human rights, and has written several letters calling for democracy, civil rights, and protection of dissidents. These letters resulted in several periods of house arrest.






                                                      He Weifang 贺卫方

He Weifang 贺卫方 is a Chinese law professor affiliated with Peking University (PKU). Before being given tenure at PKU in 1992, he was the editor at Comparative Law 比较法研究 and Peking University Law Journal 中外法学, both published by the university. Aside from his academic life, He is also a popular essayist and social commentator.

He Weifang made his first mark in the judicial reform scene with an article published in Southern Weekly in 1998. In the article, ‘Decommissioned Servicemen Find Their Way to Court’ 复转军人进法院, he criticized the practice of the state assigning demobilized army officers with no legal training to work as judges at courts. The article, which likens the practice to deploying untrained soldiers to perform surgery, drew strong criticism from PLA publications. The resulting political pressure was so intense that Southern Weekly was forced to issue an apology. However, He’s view was subsequently vindicated when the government released a policy denying ex-officers the privileges he had criticised and stipulated that those of them who wished to pursue careers in the judicial system undertake the national law exam.

He Weifang is a consistent and bold advocate for democracy. He was a signatory of Charter 08, a manifesto drafted by Liu Xiaobo 刘晓波 and initially signed by over 350 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists. During the heyday of Bo Xilai (for more details, see The China Story Yearbook 2012), He Weifang published an open letter criticizing the Chongqing Model.

He’s hopes for China’s future were best expressed at what was later dubbed the ‘New Xishan Meeting‘ 新西山会议, a closed-door meeting attended by some of the country’s most distinguished intellectuals. At the meeting, He Weifang expressed a belief that China should follow the model of Taiwan, that the Chinese Communist Party should split into different alliances or factions according to their various political inclinations and that Party control over the military should be terminated. He’s speech, which was supposed to be off record, was later leaked and provoked the ire of the ‘leftists’. They denounced the lawyer as ‘One of China’s Ten Biggest Traitors’ as well as being a trojan Party member whose clandestine mission was to sabotage the organisation.


The Activists