A civil engineering freshman in China has reportedly been expelled from his university after a post he made on his social media account was deemed “unpatriotic” by the school’s “propaganda department.”
According to the Communist Party-run Party Committee Propaganda Department, 18-year-old civil engineering student Wang Dong was investigated on Sept. 19 after some people reported about his “insulting” social media posts.
In the statement released by the department on Saturday, it was revealed that Wang was expelled from Hunan City University immediately after the investigation.
Wang’s personal account on Weibo, which was set under the screen name “Hunk Wang Yingjun from Guizhou Province,” reportedly contained the statement “loving my country is impossible, I will never love my country,” according to South China Morning Post.
The department alleged that Wang made “extremely erroneous remarks” in other posts that were also insulting to the country and had an “extremely bad influence.”
Wang’s Weibo account has reportedly been cleared of all content, leaving only a profile description, which read, “top ten patriotic youth.”
His expulsion has since become the subject of online debate among Chinese netizens, with some approving the school’s decision and others opposing it.
“If someone can be punished for being unpatriotic, does it mean people are forced to love their country?” a netizen commented on the department’s own announcement which has so far attracted thousands of responses.
“It is not moral coercion, it’s the basic principle of being a Chinese,” another user pointed out.
Meanwhile, Nanjing University law professor Gu Su expressed that Wang’s case appeared to have been intended to make students think twice before speaking honestly on certain issues.
“The punishment [doled out to Wang] seems too harsh,” he was quoted as saying.
Similar crackdowns have been observed in China’s education sector in recent months.
Last month, Guizhou University economics professor Yang Shaozheng was also expelled for allegedly “spreading politically harmful expressions.”
Featured Image via Hunan City University