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Letter from Beijing: Do Chinese students no longer care about free speech?

By Helen Gao   December 2013

In late October, when news erupted on Chinese websites of the dismissal of a university professor in Beijing, I found myself surprised by a series of messages posted by a close friend from high school. Xia Yeliang, an economics professor at Beida university, lost his job after making repeated, bold calls for political reform. My friend, now a graduate student at Beida, had been one of his students.

“I don’t understand why western media only chooses to focus on Xia’s politics, and says nothing about his academic ability, or his unpopularity among students… Firing him brings more benefit than harm…

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