Lessons from 1989 - Wang Dan and Victor Shih


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By UC San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy (GPS) and 21st Century China Center. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Wang Dan 王丹 speaks with Victor Shih on the lessons from the 1989 student democracy movement. They discuss Wang’s journey as a young student leading up to the Tiananmen Square protests and his life since. Wang describes his mission for Dialogue China - and the discussions he’s fostering about prospects of political reform and preparing citizens for potential crisis at the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1987, Wang Dan was admitted into Peking University. In school, Wang hosted the “Democracy Salon” regularly. In 1989, he participated and organised the 1989 democracy movement, and was one of the people who went on to the hunger strike. After the Tiananmen crackdown, Wang becomes the most wanted person by the government and was jailed until he was released in 1998 by the government under international pressure and was exiled to the United States.

Wang was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for three times and was awarded several other prizes. In 1998, he began to study at Harvard University, and he earned a History PhD in 2008. From 2008 to 2009, Wang was a visiting scholar at the Oxford University. From 2009 to 2017, he was teaching at colleges in Taiwan, including National Tsinghua University. Wang published “Prison Memoir of Wang Dan”, “Fifteen Lessons of the History of the People’s Republic of China”, “June 4th Memo”, and other 20 books ranging from politics, history, to literature. He was awarded the World Chinese Literature Award. He delivered a public lecture at UC San Diego in 2019 on the Past and Future of Political Reform in China.

Victor Shih is the Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations and associate professor of political economy at UC San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy. His latest book is “Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation”.

Editor/Host: Samuel Tsoi, UC San Diego
Music: Dave Liang/Shanghai Restoration Project

40 episodes