Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thirty Years Ago, Wei Jingsheng Called for Democracy

It was thirty years ago when Wei Jingsheng, a twenty eight year old electrician, posted an article on the "Democracy Wall" calling for the "Fifth Modernization" -- democracy. Jane Macartney reports on this historical event on the Times.

Wei Jingsheng did not stop there. He later posted more posters accusing Deng Xiaoping as a new dictator. He was sentenced for fifteen years for the dual crime of counter-revolutionary and selling military secrets to foreign journalists.

After ten years in jail, Wei Jingsheng had become a forgotten man by 1989. But it was Professor Fang Lizhi who brought his case into public attention with an open letter to Deng Xiaoping. The open letter became a prelude to the largest student movement that year.

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