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Tobacco academician should be dismissed | Updated: 2013-03-18 21:33

The Chinese Academy of Engineering said it will not cancel Xie Jianping's status as a member of the academy.

Xie was originally elected for his controversial research for the tobacco industry. The vice-director of the academy said that the institution is now trying to persuade Xie to give up his status, but that Xie refuses to. The CAE should initiate a process to re-evaluate Xie's membership, says an article in the Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

The "tobacco academician" farce indicates that the CAE's appointment and dismissal system has huge loopholes.

If the CAE has decided to persuade Xie to give up his status, it should do it according to established procedures. If the CAE now believes that Xie's title should be taken back, how can the CAE explain his appointment a year ago.

If an unqualified academician's personal refusal can be taken as an excuse by CAE to allow him to continue to carry the title and enjoy the associated perks, then China must reform its academic system as soon as possible.

The CAE academician title is the top title in its field for scientists in China. But now, it seems to the public that the issue is comparable to children's play.

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