Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Youngest Mayor" is a Plagiarist

In June, the Internet in China was abuzz that a twenty-nine years old had become the mayor of a city in Hubei Province. Zhou Senfeng (周森峰) thus became known as the "youngest mayor" of the country.

While many people tried to find out if Zhou Senfeng's rise was benefited from family background or connections (there did not appear to be any), Fang Zhouzi examined his published papers and concluded that Zhou Senfeng was a plagiarist while as a student in Tsinghua University.

Fang Zhouzi reported that Zhou Senfeng published only two papers while studying for this masters degree. In one of them, two sections that makes up the core of the paper were essentially a copy of a paper from someone else. The second paper, on the other hand, is made up by plagiarized content from various different sources.

Commenting on the case, Fang Zhouzi pointed out that one of the biggest reasons that Zhou Senfeng was selected as the mayor was his Masters degree, which is now proven to be a fraud. This shows that Zhou Senfeng has serious character flaws and is unfit for his position.

In response, Zhou Senfeng denied the charge by saying that he only used other papers as references. But he refused to provide more details in defending himself.

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