Editor’s note for Monday, July 20, 2020

A note from the editor of today's SupChina Access newsletter.

My thoughts today:

Tsinghua University, often glossed as “China’s MIT,” has formally fired law professor Xǔ Zhāngrùn 许章润 after relieving him of his teaching duties in 2019. Here is the pathetic excuse from the university for this vile act: “We have verified that Xu has published many essays since July 2018 and it is a serious violation of the ‘10 standards of professional conduct for teachers in tertiary institutes in the new era.’” Xu’s only sin was to write articles critical of supreme leader Xí Jìnpíng 习近平.

Meanwhile, veteran diplomat Wāng Wénbīn 汪文斌 made his debut as a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson by slamming British foreign minister Dominic Raab’s comments on the extralegal detention of large numbers of Uyghurs as “slander.” He also called Britain’s statements about the new national security law in Hong Kong a “flagrant interference in China’s domestic affairs” (in Chinese). On the same day, his colleague Liú Xiǎomíng 刘晓明 — China’s ambassador to the U.K. — struggled to respond to questions in a BBC interview about a video that first appeared in September 2019 but has gone viral recently that shows blindfolded, shackled Uyghurs being forced onto trains for transportation to who knows where.

2020 isn’t getting any better. Keep your seat belt on.

Our word of the day is flagrantly interfere in China’s domestic affairs 对中国内政的粗暴干涉 duì zhōngguó nèizhèng de cūbào gānshè.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief