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China democracy activist might lose Taiwan job

Contract with National Tsing Hua University ends in July

China democracy activist might lose Taiwan job

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan said Wednesday that National Tsing Hua University had decided not to extend his teaching contract beyond the end of next July.
Wang was recently the target of sharp criticism for his apparent support of student leader Chen Wei-ting after the latter admitted to sexual harassment. During his teaching in Taiwan over the past three years, he often took positions in support of social movements and student protesters in the country. He also lent his vocal support to the Sunflower Movement which occupied the Legislative Yuan this spring in protest against the trade-in-services pact with China.
After Taiwanese media reported Wednesday morning that the Hsinchu-based university would not continue to employ him for the next academic year, Wang wrote on his Facebook page that the college had some financial difficulties and would not reappoint him unless there was outside funding available. At present, his position was being paid from a special university fund, reports said. Wang was in his third year of teaching under the program, which would come to an end next July, though he had spent a total of five years at the university.
Wang said he had been grateful for the opportunities the school had provided him with, but he would not comment on reports that certain professors had “opinions” about his support for the student movement.
National Tsing Hua University President Hocheng Hong said that since Wang’s contract ended on July 31, there was no problem about him continuing or not. Nobody had told him about Wang’s program being ended, while it was his predecessor who had invited the Chinese activist to come and teach, he said.
The university president said he had an open mind about whether a new contract with Wang would be signed after July.
Earlier this year, Wang also became caught up in a visa controversy because of his stay in the United States. The government was accused of trying to prevent him from returning to Taiwan because of his outspoken views on China and on the Sunflower Movement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was only following official procedures.
Wang was one of the leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Movement but has since been living mostly in the United States, where he studied at Harvard University.


Updated : 2021-07-29 02:24 GMT+08:00