Constitution Professor Was Reported by Her Students

Recently, there was a file being exposed on the Internet. The file was about a constitution professor was reported by her students for expressing disagreement on Xi’s changing the Consitution. This female professor named Zhai Juhong in Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. It said that during April 2018, the students reported that Professor Zhai criticized the constitution revision by the Chinese People’s Congress. Currently, Zhai Juhong has been suspended from work, recorded a demerit and expulsed from the Chinese Communist Party. The university will also submit the suggestion of revoking her teaching certificate.

Zhai Juhong’s “Inappropriate Behaviors”

According to the report which was submitted to Chinese Communist Party Department of Education by the party committee of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, on April 25th, professor Zhai Juhong of the School of Public Administration “gave an inappropriate speech” on the class “Principles of Politics” with freshman class 1701. When explaining “government’s structure and function”, Zhai Juhong had “expressed disagreements on the constitution revision, state-owned enterprise property rights system and People’s Congress System.” And she also “introduced other countries’ policies.” “She chose to walk away from the textbook, curriculum, and lesson plans, and brought wrong opinions about the facts of constitution revision of our nation.”

Zhai Juhong's punishment

Zhai Juhong’s punishment

Two days later, a report had been submitted to the party committee secretaries and the principal of the university. For “realizing that it could be a serious matter”, the university decided to form a work group to investigate on the “inappropriate behaviors” of Zhai Juhong.

Therefore, Zhai Juhong was accused of “violation of classroom discipline”, “inappropriate lectures”, “having a bad influence” and “violating of the ‘seven red lines’ from the department of education”. The report also showed that she denied the opinions of students who questioned her speech.

Punishment for Zhai Juhong

Zhai Juhong is 49 years old. She joined the Chinese Communist Party during her undergraduate study in Wuhan University. Zhai Juhong started working for the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law after she obtained her master’s degree in Chinese and Foreign Political System major. In the year 2014, she became an associate professor of the School of Public Administration. The reason why she was punished by the university was that some students told on her.

The file “Report of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law on the Investigation and Disposition of Professor Zhai Juhong for Violating Classroom Discipline” (the file which was exposed on the internet) confirmed that Zhai Juhong had been suspended from work, recorded a demerit and expulsed from the Chinese Communist Party. The university would also submit the suggestion of revoking her teaching certificate.

The file pointed out two aspects of Zhai Juhong’s violation. First, she “doesn’t know well enough about the requirements made by political disciplines and rules as a member of the Chinese Communists Party.” Second, as a college professor, she didn’t learn well about the “seven red lines” for teachers from the Department of Education. As a professor of “Marxist theory research and construction project” classes, Zhai Juhong “failed to realize that the assigned textbooks are very important for helping students build up the right concepts about the world, life, and values”, and “failed to plan carefully about how to teach the textbooks.” That was why “Zhai Juhong walked away from the textbooks and curriculums, and teach students unapproved contents.” Also, she “failed to reflect on her own speeches”, she “was negative to the students who questioned her”, and she “failed to direct students on the right way”.

However, the file didn’t provide any details about how Zhai Juhong “walked away”, “wrongly explain the matter of constitution revision”, or “was negative to students who questioned her”.

The file also confirmed that the suggested punishments for Zhai Juhong had already been approved by the Communists Party Committee of the University. Now they are processing the responsibility affirmance and disciplinary action upon Zhai Juhong.

The media cannot connect with Zhai Juhong so far. And the official website of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law haven’t published any information and news regarding this affair. The person on duty during that time told the media that she didn’t know any details about it since she was off Sunday. And she suggested the media contact other departments on weekdays.

Zhai Juhong is the author of the book “The Balance between Unconstitutional Reviews and Democracy”. In this book, she said that the main reason for unconstitutional reviews was lacking “citizen culture”. On, this book had a review as high as 9.9. However, the information of the book was soon deleted by The copies of the book were also taken down by bookstores.

What Are “Seven Red Lines”?

The “seven red lines” mentioned above was from a file titled “Pieces of Advice on Establishing and Improving the Long-term Mechanism for the Construction of Teachers’ Morality in Universities” released by the Department of Education of China. In this file, the government listed seven strictly forbidden behaviors of college teachers.

  1. Behaviors that damage the national interests. And behaviors that are harmful to students, the lawful rights and interests of the school.
  2. Education and teaching activities which are violations of the Party’s guidelines and policies.
  3. Falsehood in research work, plagiarism, falsification, and misappropriation of academic achievements of others, illegal use of scientific research funds, abuse of academic resources and academic influence.
  4. Accepting part-time jobs which affect the normal teaching work in a bad way.
  5. Practicing favoritism over student enrollment, examinations, student promotion and postgraduate recommendation.
  6. Asking for gifts, gift cash and other valuable goods from students or their parents.
  7. Sexual harassing students, or keeping improper relationships with students.

The director of the Department of Education told Chinese media that those red lines “have significance on warning education for college teachers”.

Being different from the former ones, this file specified the punishments applied on college teachers who break the rules and other people who are responsible for preventing it from happening.

Xi just abolished presidential term by changing the Constitution

Xi just abolished presidential term by changing the Constitution

The second red line caused lots of uproars among college teachers. “No violations of the Party’s guidelines and policies during education and teaching activities.” This rule is the second most important, which means the Chinese Communists Party is strengthening its ideological control over higher education. Specifying the details of punishments over the violations, in fact, strengthened the controls over independent thoughts in the universities.

“Not to be against the will of the party”, it means that the colleges become propaganda tools of the Chinese Communists Party instead of places for teaching and learning. It is disrespectful to studies and teachers.

This summer, a direction called “seven contents which are not allowed to be talked in the colleges” made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was spreading on the internet. The seven contents include “universal values, freedom of the press, civil society, civil rights, and history of the party’s mistakes, the elite bourgeoisie, and the independence of the judiciary.” Lots of scholars have been punished (such as forced to shut down their Weibo accounts) for publishing criticism over the direction.

Some people believed that the policy gives great powers to some departments in the colleges, such as the departments of political works. They could involve in the teaching activities and even students’ daily lives. Which was worst, their powers weren’t regulated or monitored by others.

Because the departments of political works are responsible for monitoring the executive of “party’s policies” in the college, and “speeches against party’s policies” can’t be defined accurately, there will be possibilities for the departments to abuse such powers.

Zhai Juhong Wasn’t the Only Victim

The control over free speeches in colleges by the Chinese Communists Party and the government has been harsher. It is becoming very normal that the party and government take advantage of the “reporting system” to monitor teachers and students in the college. Zhai Juhong was punished because of being reported by some of her students.

Zhai Juhong wasn’t the only victim of speech control. After Xi Jinping was elected as Chinese president in the year 2012, he released a series of police to strengthened the controls over ideology and public speeches. Universities, media, and lawyers are the main objects of those policies. Professor Tan Song from Chongqing Normal University, professor Yang Shaozheng from Guizhou University, professor Chao Zhenhua from Guizhou University for Nationalities, and professor Liu Shuqing from the Shandong Qilu University of Technology all have been expelled or suspended from their job positions.

Professor Chao Zhenhua of Guizhou University for Nationalities told the media that the university officials ask the teachers to teach the ideology of Chinese Communists Party to the students. And they are not allowed to give speeches which are against the official ideology. Otherwise, they will be reported by the spies among the students to the political police.

Students talking about this incident on social media

Students talking about this incident on social media

Cao Zhenhua said, “There are 1-2 students in each class who are responsible for reporting the inappropriate speeches from teachers and other students. They might be also answering directly to the people of national safety.”

Chao Zhenhua also mentioned that for better monitoring the college teachers, many colleges now installed cameras in every classroom. The regulation departments of the college could remotely monitor the class at the same time.

Professor Tan Song, who was expelled from the college on last September for “researching on sensitive affairs”, told the media that what Zhai Juhong was going through was just the result of the government monitoring the whole higher education system. The student inspectors in colleges mainly pay attention and report teachers who are liberalists.

“The punishments upon Zhai Juhong are very close to being expelled from the college. It could be manipulated by some people over the college officials. One possibility was that they (people over the college officials) came to school and talked with some students. They will develop the certain students into inspectors. The inspector’s duty is reporting teachers with inappropriate speeches. Nobody will know the inspector’s true identity, not even their counselors and classmates. The second possibility was that they would look for students who were brainwashed by the government. As for this kind of students, their brains were already full of “red muds”. They will report their teachers and classmates who said something bad about the authorities instinctively.”

Professor Yang Shaozheng, who was suspended from his position last year for publishing “inappropriate speeches” on the internet, was still in suspension. He pointed out that “it is very common in Chinese colleges these days” that college teachers being punished for what they said.

Yang Shaozheng said, “the so-called ‘seven red lines’ are actually unconstitutional. Zhai Juhong being punished for touch it was good evidence. If everyone in China was forbidden to question or to think independently, how could we foster students with independent thoughts, critical thinking, and creativity?”

President Xi Jinping of China said that “we need to build top-rated universities with Chinese features in the world”. He also said that the universities shall “primarily serve the nation and adhere to the correct political directions”. Yang Shaozheng questioned that, did the so-called “politically correct” in China already become “not to criticize the people with power?”

Article Name
Constitution Professor Was Reported by Her Students
Recently, there was a file being exposed on the Internet. The file was about a constitution professor was reported by her students for expressing disagreement on Xi's changing the Consitution. What happened to her then? Read on!
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