The prominent law professor has been accused of “seeking out prostitutes,” a frequent pretext to detain opponents of the CCP
by Massimo Introvigne
Xu Zhangrun (許章潤 ), born in 1962,is a professor of law at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. He became nationally and internationally famous for a series of essays denouncing the increasing authoritarianism prevailing in Chinese life under Xi Jinping. Starting in 2018, he was repeatedly disciplined by its university, whose measures in turn led to protests by prominent Chinese intellectuals. In April 2019, his courses were terminated.
On July 6, Professor Xu has been arrested in Beijing. His wife has been informed that, during a visit to the province of Sichuan, Xu had been “seeking out prostitutes.” Not only is this a frequent pretext the CCP police uses to frame dissidents, but Xu had told friends before that “they would try and get him on soliciting prostitutes,” and that he was being very careful in not offering to the police any pretext for this. The CCP, however, had decided to get him anyway.
There are contrasting versions of how the arrest was performed. A neighbor reported that 20 police officers came with more than ten vehicles, while another (perhaps threatened after the incident) said that only two or three agents entered Xu’s home.
What probably determined the CCP to frame Professor Xu in the alleged prostitution affair in Sichuan is the international circulation of an article he wrote on the COVID-19 pandemic. There, Xu stated that, “The corona-virus epidemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance; the fragile and vacuous heart of the jittering edifice of state is thereby on display as never before.” He also expressed the hope that, due to the virus crisis, both China and the world will see the true colors of Xi Jinping’s rotten totalitarianism. “One can only hope that our fellow Chinese, both young and old, will finally take these lessons to heart and abandon their long-practiced slavish acquiescence, Xu wrote. It is high time that people relied on their own rational judgment and refused to sacrifice themselves again on the altar of the powerholders.”
Xu concluded by calling on the Chinese: “Rage against this injustice; let your lives burn with a flame of decency; break through the stultifying darkness and welcome the dawn. Let us now strive together with our hearts and minds, also with our very lives. Let us embrace the warmth of a sun that proffers yet freedom for this vast land of ours!”
The arrest of Professor Xu confirms that those who seek freedom for China do indeed endanger their very lives.