Chinese University Fires Professor Who Called For Press Freedom

April 1, 2005

Western news sources, including Radio Free Asia, the BBC, and the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), have reported that authorities at China's prestigious Beijing University have fired Jiao Guobiao. According to the South China Morning Post, a spokesman for Beijing University's journalism school yesterday confirmed that the school had decided to dismiss Jiao on March 17 because he went to the United States "without permission," and that constituted "leaving his post."

Jiao arrived in Washington DC on March 16 at the invitation of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy.

In September 2004, Beijing University authorities informed Jiao, who was then an associate professor in that school's Department of Journalism, that he had not been given any classes that semester. At that time Jiao said he was not given any reason, but believed it was the result of his having published an article entitled "Declaration of the Campaign Against The Central Propaganda Department," in which he criticized the Communist Party Central Propaganda Department's control over China's media.