Bringing Down The Great Wall

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Bringing Down The Great Wall

By Fang Lizhi
Knopf, 1991
288 pp. $19.95

Physicist Fang Lizhi is China's most famous dissident and champion of human rights. After Tiananmen, he and his wife took sanctuary in the U.S. embassy in Beijing and they now live abroad. This collection of Fang's essays is a thoughtful analysis of what is wrong with Chinese "socialism." Fang's best-known speech, delivered at Shanghai's Tongji University on November 18, 1986, and titled "Democracy, Reform and Modernization," is a brilliant indictment of the Chinese system and an appeal for "complete Westernization," i.e. "complete openness, the removal of restrictions in every sphere." Many of the remarks in this speech were later singled out by the Chinese Communist Party as examples of "bourgeois liberal thought."

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