Wuhan University a ‘Sinking Ship’ Amid Decline in Academic Standards, Ethics Violations: Alumnus

Wuhan University (WHU) recently celebrated its 130th anniversary, but not everyone was in a celebratory mood. Some alumni criticized the decline in the school's academic standards. Moreover, a rights group alleged that several WHU professors were involved in the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong.On Nov. 29, WHU hosted a party attended by high-ranking officials, distinguished guests, and alumni.However, not all WHU graduates shared the enthusiasm. Rao Hai, a former associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, expressed his concerns in an article posted on his brother's website, "Rao Discusses Science," questioning whether the university was seriously reflecting on its declining academic standards.Mr. Rao pointed out that 30 years ago, WHU ranked No. 4 among 19 major universities in natural science in China; now, it has fallen to No. 9. Despite the decline in academic standards, he said, the university's management seems more focused on fundraising efforts.Mr. Rao metaphorically described WHU's decline as a "sinking ship" and questioned the purpose of fundraising. He attributes the root of the problem to the university's leadership. Professional Ethics Violated Mr. Rao's brother, Rao Yi, a biology professor at Peking University, shares the same views.In January 2018, Mr. Rao Yi published a report on his website, authored by a WHU expert, accusing Li Hongliang, dean of the WHU School of Basic Medicine, of publishing two papers in Nature Medicine that were suspected of being fraudulent, providing "irrefutable evidence."Related Stories12/14/202312/10/2023On Nov. 29, 2019, Mr. Rao Yi filed a formal complaint with the National Natural Science Foundation of China against Mr. Li and others for academic fraud, alleging that Li had been engaging in fraud for 17 years. In September 2020, Mr. Li resigned and was removed from other administrative posts.Some professors are accused of not only violating professional ethics but also assisting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in committing human rights abuses. Falun Gong Persecution In September 2017, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) reported that several WHU philosophy professors were found to have collaborated with the CCP in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The nongovernmental organization claimed that WHU has become a training ground for proponents of the CCP's persecution campaign.Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline involving meditative exercises and moral teachings based on three core principles: truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice gained popularity in China during the 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million adherents by the end of the decade, according to official estimates at the time.The atheist communist regime, fearing the number of practitioners posed a threat to its authoritarian control, initiated a sweeping campaign on July 20, 1999, to eradicate the practice—a program that continues today. Since then, millions have been detained in prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.Since the persecution began, a group of professors from WHU’s Philosophy School have actively defamed and slandered Falun Gong through various means, fabricating a "theoretical justification" for the CCP's human rights abuses, according to WOIPFG. They relied on the "Hubei Province Anti-Cult Association" as a platform to implement the CCP's policy of eradicating the practice. In 2014, the group worked with Hubei Provincial TV and the Provincial Association for Science and Technology to attack Falun Gong through various organized events, TV programs, newspapers, mobile phones, and the social media platform WeChat.In addition, the head of the Religious Studies Department, Duan Dezhi, allegedly took the lead in writing the book "Cults Are Not Religions" to defame the practice, and it became a primary ideological tool for the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong.The Philosophy School undertook at least eight research projects funded by the "China Anti-Cult Association," which aligned with Beijing's narrative and manipulated public opinion.In December 2017, WHU's Center for Studies of International Pseudo-Religion Questions held a forum during which several professors delivered speeches attacking Falun Gong. State-run media Xinhua News Agency published a report claiming that 30 Western scholars participated in the forum and “agreed that Falun Gong is a cult that spreads rumors to defame China.”One of the invited speakers, Michael Kropveld, previously told The Epoch Times that the Xinhua article distorted his remarks and misrepresented the content of the conference. Mr. Kropveld, founder and executive director of Info-Cult/Info-Secte, said only four foreign experts attended the forum, and two did not align with the CCP's stance on Falun Gon

Wuhan University a ‘Sinking Ship’ Amid Decline in Academic Standards, Ethics Violations: Alumnus

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Wuhan University (WHU) recently celebrated its 130th anniversary, but not everyone was in a celebratory mood. Some alumni criticized the decline in the school's academic standards. Moreover, a rights group alleged that several WHU professors were involved in the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong.

On Nov. 29, WHU hosted a party attended by high-ranking officials, distinguished guests, and alumni.

However, not all WHU graduates shared the enthusiasm. Rao Hai, a former associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, expressed his concerns in an article posted on his brother's website, "Rao Discusses Science," questioning whether the university was seriously reflecting on its declining academic standards.

Mr. Rao pointed out that 30 years ago, WHU ranked No. 4 among 19 major universities in natural science in China; now, it has fallen to No. 9. Despite the decline in academic standards, he said, the university's management seems more focused on fundraising efforts.

Mr. Rao metaphorically described WHU's decline as a "sinking ship" and questioned the purpose of fundraising. He attributes the root of the problem to the university's leadership.

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Professional Ethics Violated

Mr. Rao's brother, Rao Yi, a biology professor at Peking University, shares the same views.

In January 2018, Mr. Rao Yi published a report on his website, authored by a WHU expert, accusing Li Hongliang, dean of the WHU School of Basic Medicine, of publishing two papers in Nature Medicine that were suspected of being fraudulent, providing "irrefutable evidence."

On Nov. 29, 2019, Mr. Rao Yi filed a formal complaint with the National Natural Science Foundation of China against Mr. Li and others for academic fraud, alleging that Li had been engaging in fraud for 17 years. In September 2020, Mr. Li resigned and was removed from other administrative posts.

Some professors are accused of not only violating professional ethics but also assisting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in committing human rights abuses.
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Falun Gong Persecution

In September 2017, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) reported that several WHU philosophy professors were found to have collaborated with the CCP in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The nongovernmental organization claimed that WHU has become a training ground for proponents of the CCP's persecution campaign.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline involving meditative exercises and moral teachings based on three core principles: truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice gained popularity in China during the 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million adherents by the end of the decade, according to official estimates at the time.
The atheist communist regime, fearing the number of practitioners posed a threat to its authoritarian control, initiated a sweeping campaign on July 20, 1999, to eradicate the practice—a program that continues today. Since then, millions have been detained in prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Since the persecution began, a group of professors from WHU’s Philosophy School have actively defamed and slandered Falun Gong through various means, fabricating a "theoretical justification" for the CCP's human rights abuses, according to WOIPFG.

They relied on the "Hubei Province Anti-Cult Association" as a platform to implement the CCP's policy of eradicating the practice. In 2014, the group worked with Hubei Provincial TV and the Provincial Association for Science and Technology to attack Falun Gong through various organized events, TV programs, newspapers, mobile phones, and the social media platform WeChat.

In addition, the head of the Religious Studies Department, Duan Dezhi, allegedly took the lead in writing the book "Cults Are Not Religions" to defame the practice, and it became a primary ideological tool for the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong.

The Philosophy School undertook at least eight research projects funded by the "China Anti-Cult Association," which aligned with Beijing's narrative and manipulated public opinion.

In December 2017, WHU's Center for Studies of International Pseudo-Religion Questions held a forum during which several professors delivered speeches attacking Falun Gong. State-run media Xinhua News Agency published a report claiming that 30 Western scholars participated in the forum and “agreed that Falun Gong is a cult that spreads rumors to defame China.”

One of the invited speakers, Michael Kropveld, previously told The Epoch Times that the Xinhua article distorted his remarks and misrepresented the content of the conference. Mr. Kropveld, founder and executive director of Info-Cult/Info-Secte, said only four foreign experts attended the forum, and two did not align with the CCP's stance on Falun Gong.
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Organ Harvesting

In 2006, China's state-sanctioned organ harvesting was exposed by two Canadian human rights activists, the late David Kilgour and David Matas, garnering international attention. Since then, the CCP's organ harvesting and transplantation industry has expanded continuously, targeting not only Falun Gong practitioners illegally detained but also other repressed groups, vulnerable populations, and even ordinary citizens.

WOIPFG released two investigative reports on April 30, 2021, alleging that Wuhan University’s two hospitals, Zhongnan Hospital and People's Hospital, were involved in organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners.

The first report includes details from telephone interviews with doctors from Zhongnan Hospital. The doctors admitted to using organs from Falun Gong for the transplantation and coordinating with Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Military to source kidneys, with a waiting time of approximately two weeks.

In 2017, a liver transplant doctor confirmed, "We frequently perform emergency liver transplants."

The report listed key personnel, including Deputy Dean Ye Qifa and nine professors.

The second report claims that WHU’s People's Hospital was among the first medical institutions to conduct organ transplants, with the highest number of kidney transplants in Hubei Province for many years. In 2015, heart transplant surgeries required a two-week wait. In October 2017, the hospital reportedly completed 300 kidney transplants that year. In 2018, the medical staff conducted four heart transplant surgeries in seven days. The hospital claimed to be the leading kidney transplant center in the province and one of Wuhan city's largest organ transplant hospitals.

WOIPFG has placed some of WHU's faculty members and health professionals on its watch list due to their connection with the CCP's human rights abuses and mass extermination policies, citing ongoing violations of ethical standards.