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Chinese professor suspended following misconduct complaints

Last Updated Jul 12, 2018 at 8:40 am EDT

BEIJING, China – A leading Chinese university has suspended a prominent primatologist in a victory for China’s slow-building #MeToo movement.

Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou said in a Thursday statement on social media that it would suspend Zhang Peng and revoke his honorary titles after confirming two complaints from female students. The university did not disclose the allegations, but said it had “zero tolerance” for teacher misconduct and would resolutely safeguard students’ legal rights.

Zhang held visiting positions at the University of Wisconsin and University of Kyoto and had been inducted into the Chang Jiang national fellowship program in China. His suspension comes after several prominent professors have been dismissed for sexual misconduct in recent months.

Zhang did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The #MeToo movement has slowly gained traction on Chinese campuses despite facing bouts of censorship.

Students say authorities sometimes take down online petitions, or their institutions try to pressure them into dropping their calls for accountability.

In April, a student at prestigious Peking University accused administrators of trying to intimidate her after she demanded that the university disclose information about the case of Shen Yang, a former professor accused of raping a student in 1998.

The discussion has drawn in Chinese state media, including the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily newspaper, which urged schools to listen to “young people’s voices” and address complaints without being evasive.

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