Plagiarism claims hound 'running dogs' professor

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 March, 2012, 12:00am


Peking University professor Kong Qingdong, who hit the headlines recently for calling Hongkongers 'running dogs', has been accused by a scholar of plagiarising a book he wrote 17 years ago.

Tao Muning, a professor of Chinese literature at Nankai University, claimed that Kong's book, Brothel Culture, published in 1995, copied the basic framework and opinions in his book, Brothel Literature and Chinese Culture, published in 1993, the China Youth Daily reported.

Tao said Kong (pictured) had not conducted the relevant research and the plagiarism was very clear.

'I know very well the book I wrote and can tell very easily if he copied or not,' Tao was quoted as saying.

The accusation was first published in November by an internet user but did not attract the media's attention until Kong lashed out at Hongkongers on an internet talk show in January.

Kong had slammed Hongkongers as 'running dogs for the British government' and 'bastards' who thought they were superior to mainlanders because of the city's British colonial legacy. Tao said he had been unaware of the alleged plagiarism until he read a copy of Kong's book in a library at the University of Macau in 2009.

He said he did not want to make a fuss about it because he was busy with other business and did not want to be seen as 'a person who is in pursuit of fame by accusing already famous people'. Tao declined yesterday to comment further.

Kong likened the accusation to 'political persecution' on his microblog yesterday. He could not be reached for comment.

The internet user who first raised the accusation compared some text passages in the two books.

For instance, in Tao's book, it was noted that the word qinglou (green building), which was later used in classical Chinese poetry to refer to brothels, was originally used to describe officials' residences in ancient China. Tao referred to a number of ancient poems and essays as evidence in his 250,000-word book.

The internet user said Kong had paraphrased the content in Tao's book and made the same references in his 100,000-word book. Kong had also listed 10 'reference books', including Tao's, in his book.