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Attack on China whistleblower shows risk of unveiling corruption, fraud

China whistleblower Fang Zhouzi was mugged after his criticism of a Chinese hospital. 'I’ve had threatening phone calls and e-mails before, but this was the first time I have been attacked,' he says.

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A bungled attack on a whistleblower famous for his exposés of fraud and pseudoscience has drawn fresh attention to the vexed issues of academic dishonesty and popular gullibility in China.

Fang Zhouzi, a popular science writer and blogger, was assaulted by two men as he walked to his Beijing home Sunday evening; one sprayed a chemical in his face, the other beat him with a hammer. He was only slightly injured and was released from hospital later Sunday night.

“I’ve had threatening phone calls and e-mails before, but this was the first time I have been attacked,” Mr. Fang said in a telephone interview.

The anticorruption activist has been involved recently in a number of high profile cases, most notably questioning a claim by a former president of Microsoft China that he had earned his PhD from the prestigious California Institute of Technology.

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