Friday, April 01, 2011

Anti-Fraud Activist And The Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department

When a reporter of the "Legal Weekend" attempted to contact anti-fraud activist Fang Zhouzi for an assignment, with allegations that Fang himself committed academic fraud, he was threatened with a lawsuit if the report would be published. His employer received a Notice of Intent to Sue Letter from Mr. Fang's lawyer.

The interesting part of this exchange is that, although the original issue was whether Mr. Fang cheated or not, by copying other people's work without citation, the main legal ground cited in the letter was a 'Notice' from the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department regarding social responsibility in news reporting. The letter starts,


Many decent scholar would not want to associate themselves with anything related to the Party's Propaganda Department. The 'Department' earns such a bad reputation that it looks everyone would get 5 minutes fame for spitting on its name (for the courage of doing it). Former Beijing University Professor Jiao Guobiao had been labelled as a 'traitor' and unpatriotic by many for his upfront admiration to western values, but Jiao's famous fighting poet against the 'Department' is still acclaimed by all.

It has long been suspected Fang's fame was associated with his close ties to the authority. For example, Fang's best friend Academician He Zuoxiu is commonly agreed to be the biggest fraud in China academic field. He, a trained physic student, who quit from college to land a job in the Propaganda Department, made himself the top physicist in China by introducing Mao's political fighting methods into physics theories.

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