Peking University sacks professor over improper relationship

Peking University sacks professor over improper relationship
Weiming (or Unnamed) Lake, with the Boya Pagoda in the background, at the Peking University campus. Insert: Associate professor Yu Wanli, from School of International Studies of Peking University.

Peking University has fired an associate professor accused of having sex with an international female student, saying that "the inappropriate behaviour triggers a severe social effect", according to an announcement released on Saturday on the university's website.

The professor's teaching credentials have been revoked and he has also been expelled from the Party, according to the announcement.

Yu Wanli, then an associate professor at the School of International Studies of Peking University, was accused of having sex with an international student surnamed Wang and getting her pregnant.

A university alumnus reported Yu to the university's inspection department in November. Previous media reports said that the informant was Wang's friend at school.

Wang, a native of Singapore, became an undergraduate at the School of International Studies in 2004 and started her doctoral programme in 2013. She met Yu during a course on US diplomatic studies in 2013.

According to Wang, Yu forced himself upon her in July 2013, when he came to her dormitory for a seminar.

"I was resisting him constantly during the whole process," Wang said during a previous media interview, adding that she and Yu had since maintained a lasting sexual relationship.

Yu told Wang he had reached the bottom line by falling in love with a student and was willing to take responsibility. She did not report him, but the two started seeing each other.

Wang later discovered when Yu invited her to his home that Yu was married and had a child. Wang was shocked to see Yu's wedding photograph. He claimed he and his wife had been separated for a decade and there was no chemistry between them.

"I told him that I won't be anyone's mistress because it is not fair to me. He said he needed time to work things out," Wang told Huashang Daily.

Wang found out she was pregnant at the beginning of November and told Yu. She said he told her to have an abortion.

Wang told Huashang Daily that she is going to have the baby.

It was not the first such incident to occur at a Chinese university.

In October, then-professor Wu Chunming from Xiamen University was dismissed for sexually harassing female students.

A retired associate professor at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Wang Xiaojian, was photographed by netizens sexually harassing two female students in October.

The Ministry of Education released a regulation on Oct 9 prohibiting university teachers from sexually harassing students or coercing them into having sex.

Faculty members who violate the regulation will face punishment ranging from a warning and demerit points to demotion, suspension and even prison terms.

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