Wang Juntao

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Wang Juntao

"Wang Juntao was only in his teens in 1976, but he also took part in the 1976 Tiananmen democracy movement and was imprisoned. Soon after his release, he again became an activist, this time in the 1978-79 Democracy Wall movement. Together with Chen, he published a samizdat magazine, Beijing Spring, spreading democratic thoughts that influenced a generation of young people. He campaigned for the office of representative to the District People’s Assembly, opening challenging the official candidates, for which he was nearly expelled from the Beijing University. Then he went to Wuhan and founded a training course for cadres with the intention of spreading democratic thoughts. His activities were discovered by the authorities and he was thrown out of Wuhan.

"Then in 1986 Wang and Chen met in Beijing and started the Center for Public Opinion Polls, the first of its kind in China. It played a role in the policy-making of the reformers. In 1987, they used the money they had made in prior years to buy out an academic weekly paper, Economic Weekly, published by the Beijing Economics Institute. Chen became the publisher and Wang the acting deputy chief editor. By their joint efforts, they made the paper highly political, persistently advocating both economic and political reforms. Needless to say, they were very active during the 1989 democracy movement and were subsequently arrested." [1]

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  1. The Impact of Media on Political Change: A Chinese Perspective, World Press Freedom Committee (1990), accessed October 3, 2007.
  2. Alert, IFEX, accessed October 3, 2007.