Asia Times (June 21) reported its interview with former Tsinghua University lecturer Wu Qiang at his apartment in Beijing on June 10. It quoted 50-year Wu Qiang, 50, who was a political science lecturer at the elite Tsinghua University, till he was dismissed in 2015 after conducting fieldwork at the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong a year earlier,  as saying his dismissal “caused shockwaves at Tsinghua. I was cut off and they thought I was a troublemaker.”  He added that the university gave an “obscure technical reason” for his dismissal. Wu Qiang has continued to speak to foreign media since then and earlier this year also filed a labour lawsuit against Tsinghua earlier this year.  He said “I am still protesting against Tsinghua’s illegal dismissal, just like how I am still resisting in my thoughts and my comments on politics. It is very important not to stop speaking out. You need to comment on politics and society; that’s how you participate in it.” AFP (June 20) additionally quoted Wu Qiang as decrying the “intellectual poverty” of Chinese scholars, whose foreign contacts and research areas are increasingly subject to official approval. He said, "Like how labourers derive meaning and self-actualisation through work ... my comments are my labour and the source of my fulfilment.” Referring to the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests he says “My generation experienced political opening and the short-lived freedom of 1989, you only need to have tasted freedom once to not give it up.”

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