Zhang Xuezhong, a law professor at East China University of Political Science and Law, said Tuesday he had been fired after refusing to apologize for publications championing constitutional law in China, The New York Times reported .
Officials at the Shanghai-based university did not respond to the Times’s requests for comment. However, Zhang obtained and circulated an internal university memo that accuses him of breaking university rules by “forcibly disseminating his political views among the faculty and using his status as a teacher to spread his political views among students.”
The memo cites an e-book he authored, New Common Sense: The Nature and Consequences of One-Party Dictatorship.
The dismissal of Zhang, who had been banned from the classroom earlier this year , comes amid concerns regarding increasing restrictions on political speech in China and in the aftermath of the controversial dismissal of Xia Yeliang , an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party, from the economics faculty at Peking University. Peking maintains  that Xia was fired for his poor teaching and research record, but many believe his criticism of one-party rule was the real reason.