In the space of a few weeks, Zhang Gongyao has gone from little-known scholar of medical history to one of China’s most notorious intellectuals. Once accustomed to a low-key life at a provincial university in southern China, he now feels he must avoid the news media and is nervous even about walking the streets in case he is recognized.
It’s all because he dared to question one of his country’s most cherished beliefs: Chinese traditional medicine.
Mr. Zhang’s comments have provoked a storm of protests and a national debate. He has been cursed on websites, denounced as a traitor and subjected to scornful attacks by the Chinese government. [Full Text]