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Thursday, 7 May 1987
Page: 2888

(Question No. 5075)


Mr Coleman asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 18 February 1987:

Is he able to say whether the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party dismissed astrophysicist Mr Fang Lizhi as Vice-President and Mr Guan Weiyan as President of the Science and Technology University in Hefei because of their alleged support for the recent student demonstrations in China.


Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

According to the official Chinese media, the Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Mr Zhou Guangzhou, announced on 12 January the decision of the Chinese central leadership that Mr Guan Weiyan was relieved of his positions as President, Deputy Party Secretary and President of the Graduate School of the Science and Technology University in Hefei, Anhui Province, and that Mr Fang Lizhi was dismissed from his position as Vice-President of the University. According to the Chinese Press, Mr Guan has been reassigned as a Senior Research Fellow of the Chinese Research Institute of Physics and Mr Fang as Senior Research Fellow of the Beijing Observatory. I understand that this action was approved by senior organs of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. While I am not privy to the precise reasons for the decision to remove Mr Guan and Mr Fang from their positions, I understand that both were considered, either through statements or neglect of duty, to have at least tacitly encouraged the student demonstrations that took place in Hefei and some other Chinese cities in December 1986.