Chinese professor dismissed over sexual harassment allegations

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A professor at a top Chinese university has been dismissed following allegations that he sexually harassed students under his care. 

Beijing’s Beihang University released a statement on its official Weibo account on Thursday, saying that an investigation found that Professor Chen Xiaowu had engaged in “sexual harassment behaviour” that seriously violated the school’s code of conduct as well as professional ethics.

The university launched an investigation into the professor’s conduct following an accusation levelled against him by former Beihang student, Luo Xixi. Luo, in a blog post that went viral on January 1, accused Chen of sexually harassing her 13 years previously.

Luo shared in the post that Chen had lured her to his sister’s house, where he made an unwanted sexual advance towards her. She said he only relented after she burst into tears and told him she was a virgin. She also accused him of harassing several other students

The former Beihang student now lives in the United States and explained that the #MeToo social media movement that started in October had inspired her.

Luo’s allegations, as well as another public post from a Peking University graduate, inspired students from more than 50 universities to publish open letters demanding more effective oversight and reporting system to deal with sexual harassment on campuses.

Beihang said in its statement that Chen’s dismissal meant that he not only lost his position as vice-president of the university’s graduate school but also had his credentials as a teacher and post-graduate supervisor revoked.

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