QINGDAO - Wang Deyu, father of controversial Duke University student Grace Wang, has remained at work and seldom returns home in Qingdao City these days, after his daughter became a target of protests mainly in Internet forums for her support of "Free Tibet" protestors in the United States.
"Wang refused a meeting with the police on matters of individual harassment outside his apartment. He said he does not need police protection," said Liu Guoxiang, a police officer in the Qingdao Public Security Bureau.
Wang, a human resource manager in a cargo tally company under the Qingdao Bureau of Port Affairs in Shandong Province, has shunned contacts with the outside.
Protesting words such as "Wake up. No Fun to Be a Traitor" were painted on the outside wall of Wang`s apartment.
"We have purged the graffiti, and are preparing to whitewash the wall," said Dai Guilan, a senior woman in charge of the residential committee of Zhenjiang Road, where Wang`s home is.
She said that the neighborhood was not disturbed, nor were there any signs of protest, despite calls for such on the Internet. Many neighbors don`t even know of the matter, she said.
"We don`t see Wang Deyu and his wife very often. They seldom lived here even before the incident," said Dai.
Wang`s daughter, Wang Qianyuan, more widely known since the incident at Duke University by her English name of Grace Wang, was criticized by her fellow Chinese students for siding with "Free Tibet" supporters. She was reported to have used blue body paint to write "Save Tibet" slogans on the bare back of one of the organizers of an anti-China protest on her campus.
The local police in Qingdao said that they reinforced patrols around the neighborhood of Wang`s apartment to prevent "extreme activities", without explaining what activities they expected. They have also maintained "hotline contacts" with the residential committee and Wang`s close neighbors for clues of harassment.
"None of the previous protesting behavior around Wang`s apartment was seized on-the-spot. Police has not received any accusations," said officer Liu.
Although Wang Deyu was not available for comments, a manager from Wang`s firm, Yang Zongjun, told Xinhua that Wang "worked as usual. We didn`t see anything strange on him. He just doesn`t want to be disturbed by the incident," said Yang.
He admitted that he and some other colleagues have received phone calls denouncing both Wang and his daughter. "We often helped explain and persuade angry protestors to calm down and be rational," said Yang.
"I don`t think the parents of Wang Qianyuan should take the blame for whatever the girl does abroad," said Lou Gan, another colleague of Wang.
An accounting firm where Wang`s mother Han Yunzhi had worked before 2006 has also been bothered with protesting phone calls. Han, who is not a native of Qingdao, has not been seen at the apartment for a long time. Neighbors speculated that she might be away from the city.