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Zhang Qianfan

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Zhāng Qiānfān 张千帆

Zhang Qianfan (b. 1964), a constitutional law professor at Peking University, is a leading scholar and public intellectual who advocates for judicial reform in China.

Zhang studied physics before switching his academic interests to social sciences. He studied at Nanjing University and obtained a doctorate in physics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989. After working as a postdoctoral researcher for 2 years, Zhang briefly studied law at the University of Maryland, but was unable to complete his degree because he could not afford the tuition. In 1999, Zhang received a PhD degree in government from the University of Texas - Austin, after which he returned to China to teach. In 2003, he became a professor at Peking University Law School.

Zhang frequently published essays calling for political reform and rule of law. In 2012, Zhang co-signed a petition letter with more than 70 scholars, calling for speedy reform and respect for human rights. In 2013, his Weibo account was deleted.

Zhang is the author of the Study of Constitutional Law: Principles and Applications, a highly-regarded legal textbook that was widely used in Chinese law schools. In February 2019, the book was [ pulled from the market as part of a nation-wide campaign to check on constitutional law textbooks by Chinese Ministry of Education].

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