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Chen Ziming

Chen Ziming
Chen Ziming (2013)

Born in 1952 in Shanghai, Chen grew up in Beijing. During the Cultural Revolution he spent six years in a "construction Brigade" in Inner Mongolia, before he was admitted in 1974 as a "worker-peasant-soldier" student at the Chemical Industry College in Beijing. But a year later he was expelled from the college and the Communist Youth League because of critical remarks he had made on the political situation in a private letter. In 1976 he joined the "April 5th" movement (to mourn Zhou Enlai and to protest against radical Maoists) at the Tiananmen Square. As a consequence he was ordered to be sent for "re-education through labor", but the informal verdict was not enforced.

In 1978 Chen was rehabilitated together with other activists of the "April 5th Movement", he immediately joined the Democracy Wall Movement and became one of the editors of the independent journal "The Spring of Peking".

In 1980 Chen received a post-graduate post at the Science and Technology Academy, in a pluralistic campaign (like at other Beijing colleges and universities) he won a seat as "people's representative" at the People's Congress of Haidian District.

During the 1980s Chen Ziming worked for several reform-orientated think tanks and publications, in 1989 he joined the Tiananmen student protests. After June 4, authorities searched for him as one of the "black hands behind the scene", after spending several weeks underground, he was eventually arrested in South China and sentenced to 13 years in jail for "counter-revolutionary incitement" and "attempt to overthrow the government".

After 1994 Chen, was eventually released to house arrest for medical treatment. When his sentence formally ended in 2002, he became a political blogger and published (in Hong Kong) books on the history of the Chinese Democracy Movement. In January 2014 Chen Ziming was allowed to travel to the US to get treatment for his cancer illness, in 2015 he returned to Beijing where he deceased in October of the same year.

 

 

Interview with Chen Ziming (on October 27, 2013 in his Beijing home)

Here you find the Chinese text of the interview (an English translation will be provided later).


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