Plagiarism and Xi JinpingBy Asia Sentinel Sep 25, 2013 11:37AM UTC
Did China’s Supreme Leader plagiarize his PhD thesis? asks Asia Sentinel’s Stephen Thompson
Xi Jinping, now China’s president and supreme leader, allegedly plagiarized passages of his doctoral thesis, which he submitted to Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2001, according to Joe Chung, a best-selling Hong Kong author who published his allegations in Chinese on a website, thehousenews.com in August. While speculation has been rife for years, Chung appears to have provided documentation. Some scholars think the whole document was written by someone else.
Xi is China’s first leader to hold a doctorate degree. According to his biography on Wikipedia, he studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing. From 1998 to 2002, he studied Marxist theory and ideological education in an “on-the-job” post-graduate program at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, again at Tsinghua University, and obtained a Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree.
There is speculation that the leaking of the dissertation, titled “A Tentative Study on China’s Rural Marketization” and published by the People’s Publishing House, was done to embarrass Xi at a crucial time – the run-up to the trial of the disgraced neo-Maoist former Chongqing governor, Bo Xilai, who was sentenced last weekend to life imprisonment. There are other allegations that Xi used others, in particular a subordinate, Liu Huiyu, to write the dissertation. And while Xi won’t suffer anything more than embarrassment, for journalists and academicians plagiarism can end a career. Liu was contacted for this article but declined comment. Her academic career progressed rapidly after the document was published. She is now a professor and associate dean of Jiangxia University in Fujian.
Other critics say Tsinghua University granted the degree, which appears to have little to do with legal affairs, to give a prestigious boost up the political ladder to an obvious future Communist Party star.
The following is an analysis of segments of the thesis, in which whole passages are copied from other books or publications without attribution. For example, on the first page of the preface is a paragraph copied from the Communist Party Central Committee Statement on Major Issues in Agriculture and Rural Work, published by the 15th Central Committee of Communist Party of China in October 1998.
Here are the two paragraphs, which differ by only a few words, both translated into English by Stephen Thompson.
Since the introduction of the policy of reform and opening, through the implementation of the household contract responsibility system, abolition of the communes and breaking up the planned economic model, China has built a basic rural institutional framework adapted to requirements of the development of market economy, greatly liberating and developing productive forces in rural areas; rural economic development has entered a new phase: substantial growth in food and other agricultural products; we have basically solved the problem of feeding the whole nation; township enterprises have risen meteorically, promoting the rural industrial structure, employment structure change and development of small towns, opening up a route to rural modernization with Chinese characteristics; farmers’ living standards have markedly improved and rural areas nationally have overall moved from subsistence to a stage of moderate prosperity.
Continue reading at Asia Sentinel