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Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2014) – The Cato Institute today announced that Xia Yeliang, a former professor of economics at Peking University, has joined Cato's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity as a visiting fellow. The move comes after the university dismissed Professor Xia last October due to his outspoken criticism of China's Communist Party and his advocacy of democracy and human rights.
"We're delighted and honored that Professor Xia, a true champion of freedom, will significantly expand our expertise on China through work ranging from economic history to contemporary social and political issues," said Ian Vásquez, director of the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. "His high academic standards, courage in the face of persecution, and commitment to liberal principles are qualities all of us at Cato admire."
"Having been a long-time admirer of Cato, I am pleased to join such a prestigious institution" said Xia. "Our common beliefs in liberal democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, and free market competition will benefit my work towards seeing a freer China. I look forward to working in a scholarly environment that encourages open debate."
Xia had taught in the Department of Economics at Peking University since 2000. Last year, he was a visiting scholar at Wellesley College. Prior to that, he served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University from September 2012 to August of 2013. Xia was a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles from July 2011 to July 2012, and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley from August 2005 to July 2006. Xia earned an M.A. and a Ph. D. in economics from Fudan University in Shanghai in 1996 and 2000, respectively. He received his BA from Anhui University.
Xia was among the original signatories of Charter 08, a 2008 manifesto that declared: "the awakening Chinese citizens are increasingly and more clearly recognizing that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal common values shared by all humankind, and that democracy, a republic, and constitutionalism constitute the basic structural framework of modern governance." The driving force behind Charter 08 was Liu Xiaobo, a friend and colleague of Xia's who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 and is currently serving an 11-year sentence on subversion charges. Xia was also a founder of the Cathay Institute of Public Affairs, a market-liberal think tank in China.
At Cato, Xia will focus on the institutional and policy reforms China needs to implement to become a modern, free society. His first public event, "Chinese Intrusions into American Universities: Consequences for Freedom," will be held at Cato on February 27, 2014. For more details and to RSVP, click here.
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