Xu Zhangrun began publicly criticising China’s direction after term limits were removed for leader Xi Jinping in 2018.
The United States on Tuesday said it was deeply concerned about China’s detention of Xu Zhangrun, a law professor who has been an outspoken critic of the ruling Communist Party, and urged Beijing to release him.
Xu, 57, a professor at the prestigious Tsinghua University, came to prominence in July 2018 for denouncing the removal of the two-term limit for China’s leader, which allows Xi to remain in office beyond his current second term.
According to a text message circulated among Xu’s friends and seen by Reuters, he was taken from his house in suburban Beijing on Monday morning by more than 20 policemen, who also searched his house and confiscated his computer.
“We are deeply concerned by the PRC’s detention of Professor Xu Zhangrun for criticizing Chinese leaders amid tightening ideological controls on university campuses in China. The PRC must release Xu and uphold its international commitments to respect freedom of expression,” US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus wrote in a tweet.
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