An Open Letter to Ms. Ping Fu by Soochow University
July 21, 2013
Ms. Ping Fu,
We are writing you in response to the bizarre tales you told, in Bend, Not Break, of your undergraduate days with us in Soochow University (Suzhou University in pinyin).
As firmly stated in our 1st and 2nd Statements, the many falsehoods you fashioned into the memoir, as well as a team of discrepancies in the many clarifications you offered and/or were asked to provide to media, have both unjustifiably defamed Soochow University and ruthlessly abused the personal feelings of your fellow students and teachers. Your persistent refusal to our request for a public apology for your misrepresenting Soochow University and your academic life there, in both the memoir and the press, manifests a “resilience” on you not to speak or seek truth. Worse still, you have presented yourself as a determined fighter against truth in talks with the press, particularly so when addressing the 2013 ALA Annual Conference.
You have sullied the academic integrity of Soochow University by claiming to have taken BA and MA degrees from the institution. As is shown in our well-kept archives, you withdrew from us on March 16th, 1982, with neither diploma nor degree, not as a result of your facing any likelihood of your being “sent to remote China,” but that of your failing to finish required courses. Lies, however repeated, remain lies, no more and no less.
Your so-called research on female infanticide in rural China was simply non-existent---- as evidence goes, never ever did you, while with Soochow University, conduct any research or publish any research finding on such a topic. Regrettably, by claiming that readers “made assumptions” on this matter, you all so conveniently dodged the questioning of whether or not you actually wrote it.
Equally, your alleged experience of secret arrest as punishment for writing a “daring and controversial article” is not anywhere close to truth. Your “accounts” of persecution with, in particular, your depiction of how you got arrested and released, simply cannot pass facts’ scan for entry into truth.
That, according to your “narrative,” Soochow University conducted intrusive physical checks on all female students’ periods, is a pure fabrication out of nothing. We have never heard of, let alone administering, these malpractices. This very story inflicts an insult not just upon yourself, but upon your fellow students and your alma mater, leaving the name of Soochow University being gravely defiled across the world.
Whatever value you may have felt it free to assign to your memoir, its story of your learning life in Soochow University is proven unauthentic and short of validity, with a good part of it being outright falsehood. We agree with you that “democracy means everyone is entitled to freedom of expression;” but we would like to remind you that freedom of speech stands as a human right to uncover truth, not as a right to justify lies and liars. We agree with you that humanity has every need to reach out for forces that “unite” us, instead of for those that “divide” us; but we would like to remind you that “civilized contributions” to humanity requires, among others, every one to be a proponent of truth rather than a proponent of falsehood.
We, Soochow University, have duly noticed your expressed wish to seek for a peaceful reconciliation with us. The words, however, have not been met with any substantive deeds. To actualize the wish, Ms Ping Fu, you are bound with an inalienable obligation to deliver a formal and open apology to Soochow University, your fellow students and teachers whom your memoir has caused to suffer, and exercise an immediate stop to any promotional activity for the memoir, either asking your publisher to recall the first edition of your memoir, or thoroughly correcting the falsehoods thereof to set to print, in the coming November, a truly authentic and valid story to readers and yourself, failure of which is sure to make us take legal actions.