Professor hits back at critics on the internet
A Guangzhou professor attacked in print last month over his call for 'an objective attitude to history' has hit back at critics in a 15,000-word article circulated on the internet.
Yuan Weishi's article was put online last night by Li Datong, the sacked editor of a formerly outspoken Beijing weekly.
Professor Yuan wrote the article in response to front-page criticism of his views by government-appointed Marxist historian Zhang Haipeng . He then submitted it to the resurrected Bingdian Weekly, the China Youth Daily supplement that was shut down for five weeks earlier this year for publishing Professor Yuan's opinions.
Bingdian used to be known for its in-depth stories on social problems, but the newspaper's new editorial board declined to publish Professor Yuan's response. Mr Li, Bingdian's former chief editor, circulated it last night to friends as a compromise.
'I received the article from Professor Yuan on March 23 and I immediately passed it to the China Youth Daily. However, the newspaper's administration replied in just one hour that they would not publish it,' Mr Li said.
In the article, Professor Yuan says many basic 'facts' of history repeatedly quoted by mainstream historians are false and the Boxer Rebellion towards the end of the Qing dynasty should not be regarded as a patriotic movement.
Professor Yuan wrapped up the article by saying: 'For the long-term stability and benefit of China, the tradition of mob rule must be eliminated. For China's future, the freedom of academic activity must be protected.'
Mr Li said the text was a 'very good article that presents concrete evidence in a way that is true to history, rather than just traditional Marxist ideology'.
He said the China Youth Daily had missed an opportunity to bring closure to the Bingdian saga and steer the arguments back towards 'scientific discussion'.