Leading Chinese Law Professor Arrested After Criticizing The Communist Regime

300px-National_Emblem_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China_(2).svgMany years ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at Tsinghua University, considered one of the best educational institutions in China.  I was impressed as faculty at the university struggled to remain intellectually active under the repressive controls of the Communist regime. It is a perilous existence as academics fear that they will write anything that annoys the government.  Now, one of the best known law professors in China, Xu Zhangrun, has been arrested.  Xu predicted the crackdown after he recently wrote a piece criticizing the government’s response to the coronavirus.  His colleagues have been forced into silence at the risk of their own arrest. The arrest comes at a time when many are concerned about the loss of free speech in this country, not by the government but private companies and universities. I have chastised faculty around the country for their silence in the face of the increasing intolerance for opposing views on campuses and actions against professors raising dissenting views of the current protests.  Indeed, many have joined in the call for such punitive measures. Xu is an example of the courage that academics in places like China have shown in the face of imminent threats to their liberty and even their lives.

Xu has been under house arrest and was taken away from his Beijing home on Monday.  He has shown amazing courage in speaking out against the totalitarianism of China’s current leader, Xi Jinping.  Reports indicate that he may have been charged with soliciting prostitution while in the city of Chengdu with other liberal academics. The charge is being ridiculed as absurd by many, particularly when Xu knew he was under continued surveillance.

Police seized all of his computers and records, a further indication of the true motive behind the arrest.

Xu was prevented from teaching due to his dissenting views at Tsinghua University. When he wrote about the coronavirus, he stated that it would likely be his last column.

He was right.

Xu is an inspiration for everyone who believes in free speech and academic freedom. His is also a cautionary tale of the ultimate costs of how speech regulation quickly becomes retaliation for those with dissenting views on campuses.  Such dangers are not confined to totalitarian nations.  Intolerance to free speech can have the same chilling effect in this country as professors watch colleagues put under investigation or subjected to campaigns for their termination over unpopular views.  Even journalists have been forced out for allowing opposing views to be heard.

We fortunately do not face the totalitarianism of China. However, free speech and academic freedom are also under attack in this country.  As an academy, we need to rally around Xu as well as the principles that he has steadfastly defended for all academics in being to voice dissenting views and values.

37 thoughts on “Leading Chinese Law Professor Arrested After Criticizing The Communist Regime”

  1. We do not experience totalitarianism, or the lack of free speech yet, but we should always project forward the current trends by years, and decades. At its current rate, what is the Left trying to do to individual rights?

    1. The persecution of bakers who do not want to bake anything in violation of their Christian faith, be it Halloween cakes, transgender cakes, or Satanic cakes.
    2. The harassment and threatening of invited conservative speakers on college campuses across America.
    3. The selective firing of conservative professors who express their views
    4. The encouragement of violence against conservatives
    5. The loyalty required towards the Marxist BLM movement, in which any criticism of the organization itself if thoughtlessly labeled racist.

    Trends make the eventual consequence predictable.

    Act and vote wisely, or one day, we will be like China, and the history of the freedoms we used to enjoy will be banned to teach in schools.

  2. In my opinion, the best form of government centers around strong individual rights, and a sharply curtailed role of government in those individual’s lives.

    Anything else, and abuse is inevitable.

    God bless the brave men and women in China who speak out against the repressive regime, and who warned the world of this pandemic.

    1. Karen, don’t count your leader among those who bravely spoke out against the repressive Chinese regime. He have the high sign to concentration camps for the Muslims there to seal a deal on trade with them.

      1. Trump is the first President to deal with the Chinese to protect Americans. No President has ever dealt with the Chinese in a more aggressive way then Trump. You complain when he smiles, you complain when he places tariffs and you complain when he refers to Covid as the Chinese virus. There is something wrong with your head because no matter what Trump does you complain you complain that he is either too hard or too soft to China. That Biden funnelled more than a Billion dollars to his son’s business to you is just fine.

        Is it any wonder that people laugh at what you say?

  3. “Fake news”

    “What Adams and Jefferson did, though, pales in comparison with how Abraham Lincoln dealt with ‘fake news.’”

    “In May of 1864, Joseph Howard, Jr. a reporter in New York, was able to sneak a fake presidential proclamation into the pages of two major New York newspapers by using the same methods the New York Associated Press (the forerunner of today’s Associated Press) used to distribute telegraphic communications from Washington. The proclamation, purportedly coming from President Lincoln and countersigned by Secretary of State Seward, called for 400,000 new troops to be raised, among other things. Howard’s goal, apparently, was to cause a run on gold in the New York financial markets, by playing on New Yorkers’ fears of another draft – the last of which caused riots that resulted in the death of over one hundred people and wounded thousands.

    “Lincoln acted swiftly, and sent the following message to General John Dix, in charge of the army in New York:

    ‘Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and published this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of Commerce, newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the President and to be countersigned by the Secretary of State, which publication is of a treasonable nature, designed to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States and to the rebels now at war against the Government and their aiders and abettors, you are therefore hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same with intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission for their offense. You will also take possession by military force of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further orders, and prohibit any further publication therefrom.’

    “Both the New York World and the Journal of Commerce remained dormant for two days, after which the mess was sorted out and Howard and his partner were arrested after confessing. Howard remained in jail until August 1864, before Lincoln pardoned him. Howard’s fake news incident didn’t seem to dent his career, as he went on to continue writing for the New York Times, became publisher of the New York Star and continued writing for a variety of other papers, and was elected President of the New York Press Club four times.”


    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln was prophetic.

    “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

    – Abraham Lincoln, 1838

    Yep. “Crazy Abe” was correct.

    “Crazy Abe” committed the suicide of America and American freedom.

    P.S. Lincoln lived a lie. Lincoln won 1860 with 38.9% of the vote and 1864 through brute military force. Nothing Lincoln or his successors did was proper, legal or, otherwise, legitimate – America awaits resolution per the “manifest tenor” of fundamental law to this day. Secession was and remains constitutional, slavery should have been terminated through legal and economic means (advocacy, boycotts, divestiture, etc.), Africans were owed repatriation morally, Africans should have been compassionately repatriated for their own benefit and America should have proceeded forward on a legal, constitutional basis not on the tyranny of the despot, “Crazy Abe.”

  4. Xu is an inspiration for everyone who believes in free speech and academic freedom.

    Among those who don’t believe in it are the snide careerist sh!ts you call ‘colleagues’. The American professoriate is a scandal.

  5. No, we currently don’t face the totalitarianism of China, but we’re close, and we will if the left ever hold power again in the near future. That’s a fact.

  6. Has any copy of what he wrote surfaced? Be interesting to see.

  7. Check out these laws in Singapore….A Lawyers team dream

    1. Selling gum
    2. Annoying someone with a musical instrument
    3. Flying a kite that interferes with public traffic
    4. Singing
    5. Spitting
    6. Distribution of “obscene” materials
    7. Connecting to another user’s Wi-Fi
    8. Forgetting to flush the toilet
    9. Walking in the nude at home
    10. Feeding pigeons
    11. Urinating in a public elevator
    12. Littering
    13. Graffiti
    14. Taking drugs before you enter the country
    16. Jaywalking

      1. Just in case you are unaware recognize the fact that Singapore criminalizes offenses that we would think were trivial in nature such as chewing gum. Giuliani went after the areas in NY that had the highest crime spikes and tried to make unoccupied buildings look occupied.

    1. and yet it is one of the most desirable residences in the entire world. a clean peaceful and successful city by any measure

      and they permit caning for certain offenses

      it’s pretty obvious what really works if peace and order is the goal.

  8. When you go to the hardware store here you n America Don’t buy tools from China.

  9. “We fortunately do not face the totalitarianism of China.”

    No, we face the totalitarianism of the Cancel Culture of the Left, the TDS of the media, and the duplicity of the power-mad Dems and RINOs.

    Same result, though.

    1. Right, what we’re up against in our country is the totalitarianism of China in the natal stages – the one baby Democrats don’t want to murder.

  10. The only thing more dangerous than Communism are those that mistake dictatorships for it. There has yet to be a ‘Communist’ country. There are many dictatorships that call themselves Communists but they are oligarchies and dictatorships that need some sort of philosophical credibility. This is true with democracies as well. These ideas are but objectives, noble or ignoble. China is simply a dictatorship/oligarchy. They don’t deserve the moniker Communist. Up there in the danger category are those that paint everything left with one big broad brush. I guess it’s easier for the limited sort that way.

  11. the CCP does openly what our ruling class does clandestinely. Who is the worse enemy of the people? The overseas gangster regime waving the red flag?
    Or the “American” covert vampires in suits, onshore, ensconced in their coastal penthouses?

    1. Dude, you support a guy who lives in a coastal penthouse with his name on it.

      1. you guys say he wasn’t even a billionaire in the first place so he’s not making my cut of the ruling caste. I’m drawing the line at a billion. penthouse or not.
        but you got the idea

        probably not every single one of these is a social parasite and nation- wrecker, just most of them


        I bet you could count on two hands the decent people on that list. well maybe one. .

      2. I thought you said he was never really successful. How could he have a penthouse with his name on it?

  12. What do you expect? That’s what Marxist/communist/Maoists do. That’s what Black Lives Matter and Antifa want to be able to do in this country once they take it over.

  13. The shame is that our lefties want to throw away what other countries fight for.

    I for one am losing patience with the lefties; don’t know where it leads, but I am not prepared to just sit by while they ruin our country.

  14. “Now, one of the best known law professors in China, Xu Zhangrun, has been arrested. “

    China fails the intermediate stage of preventing Xu from speaking and goes right to the next step of arresting him. This must create a glow in the leftists of our country as they seek the power to do the same.

  15. Say ‘race’ instead of ‘virus’ and you would almost be describing America.

    1. Sad that the courage displayed by this Chinese professor is in such short supply here where we have a First Amendment. Ours is now the fight to retain the rights earned in blood by those who have come before us. I fear it is inevitable that the cost will be paid in blood again.

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