Tsinghua University was buzzing yesterday, although there seemed to be more concern about the institution's president than the speech by James Soong Chu-yu. When university president Gu Binglin read out the text of a calligraphic scroll presented to Mr Soong, he mispronounced a word of the four-line poem and was obviously embarrassed as he struggled to finish it. The campus internet bulletin board was immediately filled with messages from students expressing their hurt pride. 'It's a shame for Tsinghua. How can the respected president of China's most prestigious university be unable to read Chinese?' one message wrote. 'I can't bear such an illiterate signing my graduation diploma,' protested another. The poem - entitled To Liang Qichao - was composed by Qing dynasty poet Huang Zunxian to express his feelings about national unity and was quoted by Premier Wen Jiabao two years ago when he visited Hong Kong. Student Peng Zhiguo, who was given the opportunity to ask Mr Soong a question yesterday, said he could understand the 'sorrow' of Taiwan referred to by the PFP chairman. 'The mainland also has its sorrow,' Mr Peng said. 'Just like during the war [with Japan], people in northeast China also felt great sadness to see Taiwan given away to Japan.' He said he hoped that Mr Soong would 'take the sorrow of the mainland' back to Taiwan so that more Taiwanese would understand how mainlanders felt. Some students attempted to read between the lines of Mr Soong's speech - and some compared it unfavourably with the recent speech by Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan at Peking University. 'I paid less attention to Soong's visit. Lien is the one who made the first step and his visit is more significant than Soong's,' said a post-graduate chemical engineering student. 'I watched Lien's lecture at Peking University on TV, but later I heard the speech was screened again and again at the university. 'I suspect Tsinghua will probably do the same, so I figure I can save some time and energy for my experiments instead of watching it live.' During a meeting to finalise the questions for Mr Soong on Tuesday night, students were told not to mention 'Republic of China', the 'Three Principles of the People' espoused by republican pioneer Sun Yat-sen or even ex-Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui, sources said.