Was Fang Lizhi a “Black Hand” in 1989?

Fang Lizhi, the prominent astrophysicist who was sheltered by the US embassy and then fled China after the 1989 pro-democracy protests, denies any role behind the movement in his newly-published posthumous autobiography. From Minni Chan at South China Morning Post:

A public letter that he wrote on January 6, 1989, urging Deng Xiaoping to release all political prisoners, including Wei Jingsheng , in a “massive amnesty” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, only annoyed the paramount leader further, Fang writes.

[…] Besides a sole public appearance to persuade Anhui students to end street demonstrations in 1986, Fang says he tried his best not to show up at student gatherings, especially the remarkable two-month-long Tiananmen protests, which ended with a bloody military crackdown on June 4, 1989.

After the incident, Fang and his wife, Li Shuxian , a Peking University physics professor, found themselves at the top of the authorities’ list of “black hands” behind the protests.

“If there was something we had contributed to the [democratic] movement, it might be our simple [democratic] message, which had struck a chord … with the public,” Fang writes.

See more on Fang Lizhi via CDT.


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