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Politics will play no role in Wang Dan's employment: university

Politics will play no role in Wang Dan's employment: university

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) A decision on renewing the employment of Chinese dissident Wang Dan at a Taiwanese university will be based purely on academic considerations and not political ones, the school's head said Wednesday. "Politics is politics, and academics is academics," said Ho Cheng Hong, president of National Tsing Hua University, where Wang teaches as a visiting assistant professor. Ho Cheng made the remarks at a Legislature hearing during which lawmakers expressed concerns after Wang wrote earlier in the day on Facebook that "because the school's funds are tight, it's not very likely they will be able to continue employing me in this same way." Wang, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard, wrote that he "understands and respects" the school's decision. But Ho Cheng told lawmakers that the remarks about not rehiring Wang are untrue as nobody at the school has brought up the matter with him. He said Wang's present contract will expire in July 2015, at which point the school will decide whether to extend his contract based on established procedures. "The university president will not have the final say on the matter," Ho Cheng said. Education Minister Wu Se-hwa, who was also at the Legislature hearing, said the hiring of university teachers is based on academic considerations, and as long as Wang's performance meets requirements, the ministry will leave all decisions up to the school. Wang, a Chinese citizen and one of the most visible student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, is currently a visiting assistant professor at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of the university. He has made a number of controversial remarks over the year since he voiced strong support for the Sunflower Movement student protest that occupied the Legislative Yuan in March. He drew fire this month when he defended Chen Wei-ting, a Sunflower leader who admitted to groping several women. "It is not abnormal to be lascivious," Wang wrote on Facebook. A Facebook page called "Say Goodbye to Wang Dan" was subsequently established to ask the university to discontinue his contract, but as of Wednesday it only had less than 5,000 "likes." (By Hsu Chih-wei and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2020-12-05 20:16 GMT+08:00