Professor Banned from Teaching for Publishing Open Letters

December 10, 2007 Updated: December 10, 2007

Guo Quan, a China Democratic League member and Associate Professor at Nanjing Normal University (NNU), was transferred to the post of librarian on December 6 by the school because of his recent open letter advocating democratic reform in China.

“The school said that my open letters violated the Constitution and Teacher Law, so they transferred me to the position of librarian. I am banned from teaching,” Guo told the reporter.

According to Guo Quan the university said he was against the Party, while all laws in China support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “They canceled my professor's allowances so now I only get a basic salary. My income has been reduced by several thousands yuan a month.”

After the Chinese communist party's 17th National Congress, several Chinese intellectuals published open letters to state leaders. Following Wang Zhaojun's open letter to the Chinese leaders Hu and Wen , Guo also published his own open letter to President Hu Jintao and Wu Bangguo on November 14 promoting multi-party elections in China .

Later, he wrote his second open letter to the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, to speak out for 590,000 laid off workers around the country from two of China's richest state own company—PetroChina Company Limited and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation. Those workers were laid off with minimum compensation and currently struggle on the poverty line. They tried to file a collective lawsuit against their employers, but instead of their problem being solved, their leader was arrested and sentenced to one year in forced labor camp. In the letter, Guo also called for the end to China's “re-education through labor” system.

Subsequently, Guo published his third open letter for 138,000 plus laid-off workers, victims under the policy of “improving efficiency by cutting workers, and other “reform policies” of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China—one of the four Chinese state owned banks.

On December 5, Guo wrote a fourth open letter to the Chinese leaders about the employment problems of the demobilized soldiers around the country and about the nationalization of the army.

Guo Quan, born in 1968, is a member of the China Democratic League. He used to be a cadre in state-owned enterprises, a secretary of the Committee of Nanjing Municipal Economic Reform and a member of the legal staff.

He attained his doctor's degree of Philosophy in Nanjing University in 1999, and went on to study in a post-doctoral program.

After finishing in 2001, he joined the university faculty, where he was an associate professor of Literature. He successively worked as a postgraduate class teacher in the School of Humanities, director of the adult education office, assistant dean and managing editor of an academic journal produced by the College of Letters at Nanjing Normal University. He is also an adjunct researcher of the Center of Nanjing Massacre Studies.