Chinese University Student Expelled for Liberal and Anti-Communist Posts

September 25, 2018 Updated: September 25, 2018

Wang Dong, a freshman at Hunan City University in southern China, was expelled by the school because he posted liberal and anti-communist statements online. He had been at the university only 13 days.

Wang Dong was born on Aug. 13, 2000 in Qidong County of Hunan Province. He entered the Civil Engineering College at the Hunan City University on Sept. 9, 2018.

Thirteen days later, on Sept. 22, the university published a statement saying Wang had posted “incorrect remarks” and made posts “insulting the country” on social media under the handle “Wang Yingjun, a provincial hick from Guizhou.”

The school promised to follow the Chinese Communist Party’s doctrines, saying that it would carry out in-depth education of all instructors and students in core socialist values, strengthen their faith in the CCP ideology, and teach them to love the Party, country, and the people.

The statement did not specify what Wang Dong had posted, but his online activity is preserved in screenshots made by other users.

In one post, Wang criticized the mandatory military training units that all 10th-grade high school students and freshmen college students have to complete. “What’s the use of military training?” he wrote. “The government keeps brainwashing me even into university.”

Wang also made comments attacking the CCP’s concept of jingoistic nationalism, saying “if [the founder of Daoist philosophy] Lao Zi were here today, he wouldn’t be a patriot,” and “as modern university students, we shouldn’t be saddled with this ugly patriotism and collectivism.”

Archived versions of Wang Dong’s posts on Weibo. (screenshot via Sina Weibo)

Wang’s expulsion is the newest case of a Chinese being punished for their online activity. On Feb. 14, a young woman called Ding Wenting was detained for 10 days because she posted “Wuhan mayor should resign” on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media service.  

Ni Huaping, a netizen from Sanya in Hainan Province, was also detained for 10 days and served a 500 yuan ($73.0) fine after he mocked Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a WeChat social media post, saying “How is Xi Pig Head doing? I haven’t watched CCTV news for several years.”

Ren Quanniu, a Chinese human rights lawyer, told Radio Free Asia on Sept. 22: “This is an action to suppress the freedom of speech, which is a serious issue. Whether it’s related to the government, the Party, or official organizations, the CCP doesn’t allow people to say that it’s bad even when it makes countless errors. The CCP forces the people to sing its praises and demands their love. It is a serious crime.”

Qin Song, an American scholar originally from Chongqing in southwest China, worried for the safety of Wang’s family. He told Radio Free Asia: “Party officials will question why a young man has these kind of opinions. It will investigate his background immediately.”

Wang seemed aware of the danger. In one of his posts, he wrote: “I have a premonition that the regime will force me to commit a crime.”