Taiwan professor bashes Hong Kong student protesters

President of CityU hides from media, vows to discipline students who damaged his office amid clashes with police on campus

CityU President Way Kuo. (Facebook photo)

CityU President Way Kuo. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid the escalating violence across Hong Kong university campuses, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) President Way Kuo (郭位), a Taiwanese citizen, has received international criticism for not showing support for students attacked by Hong Kong police.

Clashes between police and student demonstrators broke out on Monday (Nov. 11) outside the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in an exchange of petrol bombs and tear gas cannisters, with police at one point being ordered to aim at students' heads. The violence soon spread to other campuses in the city, including CityU.

Alumni and CityU faculty have condemned Hong Kong officials for ordering attacks on students and turning the educational institution into a battleground. However, Kuo did not make clear his position on the incident and is allegedly planning to discipline students who damaged his office during the chaos, reported Liberty Times.

According to an anonymous source, Kuo sent out a letter to the entire student body and staff of CityU to bash protesters who had damaged school property. Kuo said an independent committee would be established to discover the identity of the perpetrators.

The 68-year-old Kuo was born in Taipei and was elected as the president of CityU in 2008. Earlier this year, controversy arose when he cancelled a speech originally scheduled at National Taiwan University (NTU) for fear that students would question his stance on the Hong Kong social movement.

On Thursday (Nov. 14), Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧) and Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) asked Chou Mei-yin (周美吟), the vice president of Academia Sinica, whether Kuo should be stripped of his academic title. Chang said Kuo should not avoid conversations with the public after the Hong Kong police's invasion of the CityU campus, reported CNA.

Due to safety concerns, schools in Hong Kong announced the early end of the semester on Wednesday (Nov. 13), and hundreds of Taiwanese students have since returned home. With assistance from the Taiwanese government, the approximately 500 students remaining in Hong Kong are also expected to return soon.