Monday, October 4, 2010

Dissident Magazine "Beijing Spring" Ceases Print Edition

Beijing Spring, self-claimed to be the only Chinese dissident magazine that has a print edition, announced that it will end that edition immediately. It will continue with digital edition only.

Based in New York City, Beijing Spring boasts a history of almost 30 years. In 1982, a Chinese student by the name of Wang Bingzhang (王炳章) decided to launch the first oversea dissident publication. He named it China Spring, derived from "Beijing Spring," a term generally used to describe the "Democracy Wall" movement a few years earlier in Beijing.

In 1989, Wang Bingzhang was entangled in an internal struggle with Hu Ping, his hand-picked leader to the movement he founded. Wang Bingzhang was eventually expelled and took the rights to China Spring with him. But most of the editors and writers stayed with Hu Ping and launched Beijing Spring instead.

Later, after finally escaping from China, 1989 student leader Wang Dan joined the magazine and became its publisher. Wang Dan was instrumental in securing financial support from Taiwan's semi-official foundations to keep it afloat. However, that lifeline was severed in 2008 after Ma Yingjeou became the new President of Taiwan, according to comments posted by Wang Dan in his Facebook page.

The exact extent of readership of Beijing Spring is unknown. Hu Ping and Wang Dan expressed sorrow for the occasion and vowed to carry on with its digital edition.

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