Where Are the Tiananmen Leaders Now? (Part 2)

Jun 04, 2011
*Special to asia!
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Some discovered Jesus, and others wealth and success on Wall Street. A handful is on Twitter where one of them tells of how he was entrapped by his wife, a Chinese undercover spy. Here are the 21 most wanted leaders of the Tiananmen uprising, 22 years later.

(Read Part 1 here.)

13. Feng Congde 封從德

Feng met fellow student leader Chai Ling at Beijing University and the two were married in May 1989. Following the crackdown, the couple fled to France. Chai left for the US, while Feng stayed and later received his PhD in theology. Their marriage eventually ended in divorce.

Feng has since started a website related to the 1989 Tiananmen Uprising called 64memo.com and tweets @ FengCongde.


14. Wang Chaohua 王超华

The Chinese Academy of Social Science student wasn’t even on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. The then 36-year-old graduate student had been hospitalised for exhaustion, and Wang said that remained her great shame and regret.

She hid in Beijing for six months before fleeing to Los Angeles, where she later received her PhD in Asian Languages and Culture from UCLA. In 2005 she published the essay collection “One China, Many Paths”, discussing the changes and future of modern Chinese society.

927 One China, Many Paths, edited by Wang Chaohua

Of the Tiananmen movement she said:


“The brave and fearless spirit expressed by the Beijingers of 1989 shocked the world. I think this is a very precious spiritual legacy of the Chinese people. There were not only deaths, tears and grimness from June 4th.”


15. Wang Youcai 王有才

On the evening of June 3, he was at the Beijing Hotel speaking to a Taiwanese concert held in solidarity with the student demonstrators on Tiananmen Square. At around 10 pm, he heard gunshots being fired and headed for Tiananmen Square. In August he was sentenced to four years imprisonment, but was released in November, following international pressure.

He co-founded the Chinese Democratic Party and was promptly arrested, while trying to register the party. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment but was released to the US in 2004 where he continued his Masters degree in Physics at the University of Illinois.

He also started the Future China website and is currently a PhD student in nuclear physics. 


16. Zhang Zhiqing张志清

Zhang was a second-year student at the China University of Political Science and Law. His whereabouts are unknown.


17. Zhang Boli 张伯笠

After June 4, 1989, Zhang fled to the then-USSR where he was sent back to China. He then fled to the U.S. where he was later diagnosed with cancer. Zhang eventually recovered and went on to become a Christian pastor. He now heads the Harvest Chinese Christian Church in Virginia, USA which also has a branch in Singapore.

His personal website is at https://www.zhangboli.net/


18. Li Lu 李录

Li is the dissident who has now become the man touted to become American investor Warren Buffet's successor.

In 1989, the then-student of Nanjing University, he went to the capital to join those demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. After the crackdown, Li fled to Hong Kong and Paris, before ending up in the U.S.

He arrived at Columbia University to a hero's welcome, and received an advance for a book on his experiences. A scholarship enabled him to master English and he went on to obtain three simultaneous degrees from the college.

After graduation, he worked at the Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Investment Bank, before setting up Himalaya Capital, a venture capital and hedge fund company.

928 Li Lu (Photo: Himalaya Capital)

He is reported to have recommended Buffet to invest in BYD, which later evolved to become one of China's largest non-government-owned carmakers. Li was by the side of Buffet and Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the charity meeting they held in China, with some of the country's wealthiest tycoons last September.

Li is one of the few Tiananmen leaders to have been allowed to return to China, after fleeing the country.

19. Zhang Ming 张铭

The former Tsinghua University student was jailed for three years after the crackdown. After his release, he eventually became started his own company in Shanghai company. In 2003, Zhang was arrested again on the charge of “endangering public safety” for planning to blow up a multi-storey building. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

In 2004, he began a hunger strike and lost 50 pounds. Human Rights Groups alleged that he was tortured repeatedly in jail. He fell into critical condition and was released in 2006 for medical treatment.


20. Xiong Wei 熊炜

Xiong was a student at Tsinghua University at the time of the uprising. He was arrested after being turned over to the authorities on a train by his mother. He was subsequently jailed for a year. His current whereabouts are unknown, but it is believed that he is in the U.S.


21. Xiong Yan 熊焱

Xiong fled China in 1992 and arrived in the U.S. where he first studied English Literature in North Carolina and then theology at a seminary. In 1994, he joined the US Army and was posted to Iraq in 2003, where he served as Army Chaplain.

926 Xiong Yan at a Tiananmen Uprising in Hong Kong (Photo by: uwsunev @ Flickr)

Xiong returned to China in 2009, when he attended the memorial of the Tiananmen uprising in Hong Kong.

dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for theasiamag.com, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

Contact Dan-Chyi