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Chengdu University head missing sparks online discussions on problematic management over claims of HK secessionism

作者:admin 2020-10-16

Chengdu University head missing sparks online discussions on problematic management over claims of HK secessionism

A screenshot of an official statement from Chengdu University Photo: Web

Chengdu University said it is cooperating with the relevant authorities in their investigation into the university's
Party chief Mao Hongtao, who reportedly went missing on Thursday. 

The case has drawn a great deal of public attention as some posts circulating online suggested Mao faced tremendous work pressure, with some netizens pointing out that a teacher from the university had made claims about Hong Kong secessionism without being held accountable. 

Born in 1970, Mao was formerly the vice mayor of Meishan, a city about 80 kilometers from Chengdu, capital city of Southwest China's Sichuan Province. As a high-level academic who majored in accounting, Mao was also granted a special allowance from the State Council, China's cabinet, according to his resume on the university's website. By citing a post shared on his WeChat moments, local media reported that Mao might have come under tremendous pressure at work, and claimed that he would "end everything," which sparked speculation online over the reason why he has gone missing. 

Some online posts also asked if there were some conflicts among university leaders, pointing out that the university has seen frequent reshuffles in its Party chief position, hinting at problematic management and leadership. 

This morning, the posts published by Mao, Party Secretary of Chengdu University, attracted public attention, and "we immediately set up a special working group cooperating with the relevant authorities in the investigation," the university said in a post published on Thursday afternoon on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo, adding that it would release updates in a timely manner.  

It was not the first time Chengdu University has come under the spotlight of public opinion. In 2019, online posts on Weibo suggested that a professor surnamed Wang at the university publicly instigated claims supporting secessionism in Hong Kong, which sparked outrage online. 

A prominent Weibo user posed the question to the university on Weibo in December 2019, asking how many professors there were at the university who supported the Hong Kong Autonomy Act released by the US government to pressure China. The user asked how the university could tolerate such acts of publicly brainwashing students against China and the Communist Party of China

The university has not made any public comments on the online complaints nor made any clarification of the controversial incident. 

News of the incident of the missing head of the university has been viewed more than 100 million times on Weibo as of late afternoon on Thursday. 

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