Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported (July 15) that outspoken Chinese Professor Xu Zhangrun has been fired from his post at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University after being released from police detention. Xu Zhangrun told reporters after his release on July 12, that he had been fired from his teaching post and subjected to public sanctions for "moral corruption" by Tsinghua University's law school. Political journalist Gao Yu confirmed the media reports in an interview with RFA on Tuesday. She said "Tsinghua dismissed Xu Zhangrun from his official job and his teaching position." RFA quoted political commentator Wu Qiang, who was also dismissed by Tsinghua for showing public support for the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, as saying that since Xi Jinping began an indefinite term in office in March 2018, the ruling party has stepped up a purge of liberal intellectuals from higher education institutions. He said "It's not in the authorities' interest to allow a public trial around Xu Zhangrun's remarks and his critical writings, so they are using this humiliating tactic to retaliate against him. This retaliation comes along with a strong message of warning, not just to Xu, but to all Chinese intellectuals. We are being warned that the authorities could impose various punishments on us in future if we voice similar criticisms."

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