Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fang Zhouzi Files Lawsuit against Magazine

Fang Zhouzi has formally filed a defamation lawsuit against the magazine Legal Weekly, which has been carrying attacks on him and his wife. The lawsuit claims that the magazine has committed defamation by publishing biased, and non-factual articles against him. It also alleges that the magazine has misused his picture.

He is seeking a retraction of the articles, an apology and monetary compensation.

The lawsuit application was originally submitted more than 10 days ago after the first-round of the attack by the magazine. Because Legal Weekly, like the majority of media in China, is an official government entity, the court was not sure whether it could accept the case. After the delay, however, the suit is now officially accepted.

Fang Zhouzi's Wife Responds to Charges of Plagiarism

Media attacks on Fang Zhouzi continue in China and they are now turning on his wife, Liu Juhua. The magazine Legal Weekly published another lengthy report accusing Liu Juhua plagiarism in her masters thesis completed in 2002, a couple of years before she married Fang Zhouzi.

In an essay signed as "Fang Zhouzi's Wife," a customary way for her to write in such occasions, Liu Juhua responded by saying that she keeps a clear conscience on her earlier work. She explained that she had never intended to work in academic research or publish her thesis. The thesis was done only to satisfy the degree requirement. She regarded her thesis, like any those for masters degree in liberal arts, as a review of given issue and not necessarily full of original ideas. However, she denies that she had plagiarized.

Liu Juhua expressed her frustration as being the target of vicious personal attacks on the Internet because of his husband's work. But she was confident that she could handle whatever comes with grace.

Fang Zhouzi had initially maintained his silence when the accusation first surfaced on the Internet. After the publication of this article, he forcefully defended his wife and vowed to "go after" those who had attacked his wife by "applying the same plagiarism standard"(*) to examine their thesis work.

(*) As that had been applied to his wife's work, which sometimes confuses copying and paraphrasing.

At the same time, however, Fang Zhouzi allows that her wife's thesis could have been improved with better citation and quoting techniques, a skill that was rarely taught to students in China. It is a common and wide-spread problem for which he has been advocating that a thesis should not be required for earning a bachelors or masters degree.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Xiao Chuanguo Hosts Press Conference

Dr. Xiao Chuanguo, who was recently released from prison for his attacks, made his first public appearance in the form of a press conference today in Wuhan, China. The conference was announced a few days ago and had a touch of mystery, as reporters were required to sign a non-disclosure-agreement in the name of protecting patients' privacy.

News reports of the conference are just starting to show up in some small-scale media in China. According to them, Dr. Xiao Chuanguo presented:
  1. A report from the American Urology Association on the three-year results of Xiao's Procedure tests. It shows that the procedure can "improve the voiding functionality" of patients with spina bifida. [Blogger's Note: as far as we could tell, this must refer to the to-be-published results from Beaumont Hospital, which indicated that the so-called "Xiao's Reflective Arc" had disappeared from all but one patient after three years.]
  2. Some video clips of patients voiding by scratching their side or leg skins
  3. A couple of patients or their relatives making statements of their being cured by Xiao's Procedure.
  4. A picture of himself in prison uniform. Dr. Xiao Chuanguo claims that he has been mistreated by the media and will sue CCTV for slandering.
When responding to questions from reporters, Dr. Xiao Chuanguo insisted that the procedure had not been officially halted in China. Although he has lost his medical licence due to his court trouble, he said that his students and assistants can still perform the procedure.

He also disclosed that he is considering to leave China for America.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chinese Magazine Stirs Up Old Controversy

The Legal Weekly (法治周末), a relatively new and small weekend magazine, published a four-page "investigative report" on Fang Zhouzi on the eve of the April Fool. The acid-toned article was based on many slandering rumors that had been circulated on the Internet for years.

The article interviewed many characters that either had been exposed for fraud by or had clashes with Fang Zhouzi in the past. One of them was quoted saying that Fang Zhouzi has very few long-term friends, "he is not a person suitable to be a friend."

More damningly, the article accused Fang Zhouzi of having committed plagiarism himself. It lists many verbiage comparisons between Fang Zhouzi's work and those he had used as source material. The comparison generally showed the reporter's lack of understanding in the difference between copying and paraphrasing.

Although the same accusations and rumors had been around for a long time, this is the first time they were published in an official media. The report stirred up heated exchanges in the Chinese blogsphere over the weekend.

Fang Zhouzi has threatened to sue the paper for slandering.