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National Ethics Hammered, but of Which Country Really?

23 October 2010

The following is a post by fraudbuster10000 (Fraud Buster) in response to a grossly biased article titled A Hammer Blow to National Ethics appeared on regarding the feud between Professor Xiao Chuanguo and Professor Zachary Burton's watchdog Shi-min Fang.

by fraudbuster10000 (Fraud Buster)

Xiao’s attack on the Fangs is clearly unacceptable and justice is served there [Multipletext: The jury is still out over the true nature of the incidence! What can be said for sure at this stage is that Dr. Xiao has neither attacked nor initiated the attack on Shi-min Fang. His only fault is of being approached by an individual with a suspicious connection and accepted this individual's offer to teach Fang a hard lesson. So far the effort from many different quarters to delve into the bottom of the matter is still in full swing.] But before you tie the “national ethics” to the “hammer”, you may want to know more about the two Fangs and why a prominent internationally known surgeon committed such a crime.

This is an information age. We all know that there is more information than we can ever process. Most of the people take the easy route. They depend on key informers for an opinion and subsequently rationalize it with conditional search of information. Undoubtedly Nature took such a route, just like Science did years ago. When you feel like to criticize the “national ethics” of China, you probably need to exam the integrity of your information sources.

Xiao and Fang Zhouzi (Fang subsequently) have had a long history of feuding. Apparently Fang has always got the upper hand because of his much superior skills of manipulation of public image. Fang is a known plagiarizer to many who are familiar with his works. There was one time he was forced to pay back royalty because he published an article twice with minor modification in the later one. There are numerous cases of plagiarism in Fang’s works.

Xiao and Fang’s feuding started with a plagiarized article by Fang. Xiao wrote to the esteemed journal Science to accuse Fang of plagiarism in 2002. Science claimed to have conducted an investigation with an independent source that translated Fang’s article for comparison. Amazingly, Science failed to find plagiarism in Fang’s article. Nonetheless, Science concluded that Fang’s writing was unacceptable.

The integrity of the journal Science is in question not only because it failed to identify plagiarism that could easily be detected by someone with some knowledge in both Chinese and English, but also because of later developments. It involved two of Science’s reporters, one named Hepeng Jia and the other named Lei Xiong.

Jia tried to interview Xiao. Being a busy surgeon and probably lack of skills dealing with media, Xiao generally avoided reporters. Before Jia can interview him, Xiao insisted that Jia gave an honest opinion whether Fang had indeed plagiarized as he had charged Fang of. Jia artfully avoided the question but told Xiao that Xiong was in the investigation team. Later Xiao confronted Xiong, and she denied that she was involved in Science decision in any form! Someone is lying, right?

Jia’s article later in Science sided with Fang and covered any charges of Fang that Xiao had put forth in the interview. Jia never answered the simple question whether Fang had plagiarized against Greene’s Science article. Jia later held editor-in-chief position of a Chinese journal Science News and his journal supported Fang and his cause. As a loyal public supporter of Fang, why cannot Jia answer that simple question, even after Science said that Fang did not plagiarize?

We could not help but suspect that Science can lie and he cannot, not face to face. In Fang’s article, he translated four paragraphs from J.D. Greene word for word and then paraphrased the rest. It is a clear case of cross language plagiarism. Wouldn’t Jia and Xiong be proud if they defended Fang when he was innocent? Of course the problem is that Fang was clearly not innocent.

Fang has become famous in China and among Chinese overseas by his academic fraud busting activities. However, fraud busting would not generate any income. He is a freelance writer and he makes ends meet by earning money from publishing. Being on the front-line accusing other people of plagiarism in science writing, shouldn’t Fang be held to the same standards? The irony is that Fang is worse than most of the frauds he had exposed and yet, just like this Nature article says, he is the “science watchdog”.

This “science watchdog” believes in the thousand-year Chinese philosophy “all writings plagiarize”(“Tian Xia Wen Zhang Yi Da Chao” in Chinese). He had revealed his secret in writing in a web post when he was not famous. There are numerous examples of Fang’s plagiarism and bad science writing. For example, he had published no less than ten books. In his books, there are numerous charts and photos, mostly plagiarized from the Internet without crediting the sources and permissions from original authors. Careful inspection revealed that Fang even plagiarizes against materials in Chinese.

Probably nothing is more telling than Fang’s plagiarism against Lederman in 2006. Then he had already established a firm reputation as “science watchdog” and his many supporters crowned him the title “Fraud Buster Number One” or “Warrior against Frauds”. He felt eager to sermon the Chinese on virtue of ethical science. Lederman as an editor of Inside Higher Ed conveniently published two articles discussing the Ohio University plagiarism scandal and they were available on the Internet.

Fang translated the title of later article and word for word of six paragraphs from the earlier article. There were only ten paragraphs in his article and in the remaining four paragraphs, he messed up all the facts about the scandal and then lectured the Chinese to have a system to fight fraud! What a fraud!

Fang is an artist of public opinion manipulation and he has a powerful and loyal group of supporters. His supporters always use the most abusive language against any public enemies of Fang. Most of the people will respond to his supporters and subsequently be seen as uncivil and impolite. His supporters are always anonymous and worry little about their images. Remaining anonymous, his supporters invaded every kind of privacy and attacked Xiao with unacceptable defamatory languages. Forcing his opponents to sink to his supporters’ level of violent behaviors and languages is a powerful psychological strategy that Fang and his followers have been using. Xiao’s attack on Fang does have root causes and is simply additional evidence that this strategy works again.

Careful manipulation of public image made Fang invincible. He had setbacks when he was on the rise to star-ship. Some of the Chinese media questioned him. But he survived and after many media reports from the West touting him as the science watchdog of China, the Chinese media no longer challenges him anymore. Fang’s plagiarism is widely exposed on the Internet. However, none of the Chinese media or media in the West is interested in exposing him. To many, an icon as Fang is necessary to show that there are many frauds in China.

The other X. Fang being attacked by Xiao is a powerful media figure. He had led a muckraking campaign against Xiao. It is of course a fair game if you muckrake in line with morals and professional integrity, right? X. Fang sent his reporter to Xiao, pretending to do a fair reporting on Xiao’s research. Actually, Xiao had been increasingly fearful of media after numerous unfair (at least to him) reports of his research and career.

The reporter that X. Fang sent had to work through friendly connections to reach Xiao. Thus, Xiao was promised a friendly coverage implicitly. Anybody can imagine the excitement of Xiao to finally find someone he can trust in the unfriendly media world. He trusted X. Fang’s journal with all the evidences he can provide. It was proven again that Xiao was gullible and his guard against media by avoiding almost any contacts was not sufficient. X. Fang’s journal did an exposé on Xiao without any supporting evidences that Xiao had submitted. One of the key documents later showed up on Fang’s website and was used against Xiao of course!

Before you pass judgment on Xiao, I guess you really have to question the integrity of those who supplied you information, and that of your own. For example, an influential paper did an exposé on Xiao’s procedure. The article basically claimed that Xiao’s procedure cripples people. There was a picture of someone with Xiao’s procedure suffering from an heel ulcer. The unsuspecting public swallowed it without a doubt. Anyone with a little bit of understanding of the procedure and the medical condition will laugh. Xiao’s procedure was performed on the left and they showed an ulcer on the right foot.

Fang’s writing style is not of constrained type. He has a “warrior” image. He confronts people. In other words, he is a loose cannon. He abuses reporters, editors, newspapers, and journals verbally quite often. His website has a long list of “bad” reporters who had ever crossed him. Yet those media still haul him as an icon of fraud busting. What does that suggest? We are yet to find out. But undoubtedly Fang has powerful media connections that protected him well and served him well in fighting any of his public enemies. Xiao’s effort to expose Fang’s plagiarism made him public enemy number one of Fang and bad media exposure has never stopped since then.

Fang repeatedly declares that he exposes frauds no matter who the persons are. The media exposure of Xiao invariably went to X. Ji for expert opinion. X. Ji is a close ally of Fang. Fang had exposed other people cheating funds with “Nano technology”. Interestingly, Ji had done the same thing with his “International Nano Medicine Institute” and was repeatedly reported to Fang by informers. Fang simply ignored such charges. Ji is a pathologist and he had exposed one of his patient’s private medical information online! Ji’s medical knowledge is so poor that he claimed that in Xiao’s procedure Xiao has to connect EVERY nerve fiber to be successful, thus he had theoretically proven that Xiao’s procedure is a fraud! Anybody with basic understanding of nerve healing will laugh at his expertise. Yet, unsuspecting public readily swallowed the misinformation to Xiao’s discredit.

I detest Xiao’s uncivil behavior just like everyone else [Multipletext: That is if Dr. Xiao really did it. And even he indeed did, this action is clearly not detested by everyone else. In fact, a great number of Chinese are calling Dr. Xiao national hero who dares to stand up to the head of the biggest Chinese cyber terrorist organisation imported from the United States. But of course, Dr. Xiao cannot claim this credibility since he was even much less involved in this drama than alleged victim Shi-min Fang.]. But I do think Xiao deserves better treatment than being paint as a thug for I know why everything happened the way it happened. Your conclusion to tie the hammer to national ethics is laughable, for you only know partial truth or even no truth at all. How much would you credit this “science watchdog” if you know the following truths?

1) Xiao had repeatedly tried legal means to stop Fang’s libel against him. He sued in China and won. He sued in U.S. but the subpoena was not deliverable!

2) Xiao would experience many frustrations to deliver court documents to Fang later. Fang had many legal battles, one thing in common is that court documents are always difficult to be delivered to him.

3) In one occasion, Xiao hired a delivery company to deliver and record as evidence that Fang received court documents. Fang lied to the public that he received threats of personal attack! But he never revealed the content of the documents! Xiao later posted the recording online and guess what? Fang continues to claim that was an actual threat and he refuses to reveal the contents of the documents!

4) Fang was ordered by a court to pay a fine and issue public apology to Xiao. Fang ignored the court order for years until police got hold of his family bank account under his wife’s name. Fang and his followers have subsequently abused the court and police verbally for a long time. To date, Fang is still in contempt of a court order and has yet to issue a public apology to Xiao. Court order had no effect on Fang’s defamation efforts of Xiao. Actually, the slanderous attack on Xiao by Fang and his followers has intensified and escalated to anybody related to Xiao subsequently.

5) In court documents in China, Fang forged a nonexistent fake U.S. address!

6) Fang had openly denounced a critic who had been contributing to his website for years. He announced that no writings of this critic would ever be accepted by his website and he purged all writings of this critic. But upon close examination he kept some. It’s hardly surprising that those ones he kept were attacking his enemies. There may be an excuse that he did not get to all of them. Then this critic had written an article criticizing one of his enemies again and it’s published elsewhere. Amazingly, Fang would steal this article and changed the contents to publish on his website!

There are many behaviors and writings of Fang that could easily provoke a “watchdog” of any kind to bark. But if the above evidence could not convince you, more would make no difference.

The national ethics could in a way be linked to the hammer, just not the way you imagined. The true tragedy of Chinese national ethics is really related to a fraudulent idol of self-claimed science police which is largely created by the esteemed media of the West.

Don’t look down on the Chinese, exam your own integrity. Fang is a U.S. citizen after all. Xiao published mostly on U.S. academic journals and he was awarded most distinguishing awards by professional societies in U.S. as well.

(The post can also be found at,70215,70215#msg-70215)

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A True Story Told by a Chinese Monk:

There are two kinds of fruits on Mr Cai’s stall, one with a label stuck on, one without. We normally only buy those with no labels since we found the stickers were just there to cover the scars on the fruits.

One day the monks of Precious Light came to visit our Bright Sky, and brought us some fruits purchased from Mr Cai’s stall, each having a beautiful label on it. We young monks laughed at the Precious monks behind their back. But later when we peeled off the labels, we found each fruit was flawless.

My master says when we treat our past experiences not as guidance but rules, we often mislead ourselves. So when I went to buy fruits today, I did not purposely pick those with no labels.

Multipletext: The moral of the story? Don't jump to the conclusion based on your limited past experiences and often biased perspective, or you'll not only be unfair to others but also do yourself a disservice.

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