A Chinese professor, Shi Jiepeng, has been sacked after calling the founder of modern China Mao Zedong a “devil” on social media.
Shi Jiepeng, a classical Chinese assistant professor at Beijing Normal University, said he was fired last month.
Mao, who died in 1976, is still officially venerated by the ruling Communist Party as the founder of modern China and his face appears on every yuan banknote.
Shi “had for a long time made mistaken comments online, which cause a negative impact in society”, according to his dismissal note which has been circulated online, the authenticity of which Shi confirmed to Reuters.
The university declined to comment.
Shi had been attacked on leftist websites as unpatriotic for comments on his Weibo microblog in which he not only referred to Mao as a devil but also said China should cast aside Chinese culture and fully accept Western civilization.
“Actually what I said was very moderate, like what Lu Xun wrote but far from as deep,” Shi told Reuters, referring to a man revered as a founder of modern Chinese literature who often wrote scathingly of traditional Chinese culture.