Wei Jingsheng: Remembering Fang Lizhi: 'Hero of the People,' Hated by China's Regime

Roundup: Talking About History

Wei Jingsheng is one of China’s most well-known dissidents, now living in exile. He spent 15 years in Chinese prisons. In an open letter to Deng Xiaoping in 1989, Fang Lizhi called for Wei’s release.

Professor Fang Lizhi, the Chinese astrophysicist whom many regarded as “China’s Sakharov,” died suddenly at his home in Arizona last week.

For this great Chinese patriot to die in the American desert 22 years after he was forced into exile symbolizes the harsh truth about the ruling Communist regime which Mr. Fang often warned the world about.

For those of us whose memories have not been erased by the censorship of getting rich gloriously, Fang was a hero. In the years and months leading up to the Tiananmen demonstrations in 1989, he dared to tell the historical facts – about Mao, the Party, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution – to a new generation....

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