China’s New Freedom Fighters

As part of its Olympic run-up coverage, The Guardian interviews six of China’s most prominent and : novelist Ma Jian, AIDS activist Wan Yanhai, human rights lawyer Li Fangping, environmentalist Dai Qing, economist Dean Peng, and blogger Woeser. From the first of the six, , who’s been on a tear recently promoting his new book “Beijing Coma“:

I divide my time between London and Beijing. I am trying to persuade my family to spend more time in China. It’s no fun to be in exile. I can’t even figure out the basic 26 letters, let along operate in English. I often feel that although I’ve found the sky of freedom above my head, I’ve lost the soil I stand on. I need to be back in my motherland, where I can find inspirations.

I am concerned as to whether the government will let me back in after the publication of Beijing Coma in China later this year. But I have to speak the truth. My next book is a novel about the cost of the inhuman family-planning policy. But it is not just books. I openly criticise this dictatorial regime in my articles and interviews or whenever I can. If we don’t, it will never change. And I want to remind people; when a country forgets its past, it will have no future.

July 6, 2008 1:53 PM
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Categories: Human Rights, Politics