It has been 32 years since the Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing on June 4, 1989. One of the student leaders, Zhou Fenglock, held a series of events at clubhouse, “Where were you today in 1989 and what did you experience? This event invited people who lived through the June Fourth Movement to tell their stories. Many of them were students or scholars who studied in the United States back then, such as Chen Jun, Ren Songlin, Yu Hai, and Hong Yujian. Voice of America has recorded the passionate years of these people, their confusion, awakening and disappointment on the road to democracy and freedom, and what they did, saw and thought before and after the June Fourth Movement, providing us with rare first-hand information about the development of the June Fourth Movement and its impact on overseas pro-democracy movements.
“After the June Fourth massacre, the pro-democracy movement in mainland China was interrupted, but it has been continued overseas, and several of the people involved have continued the spirit of June Fourth in their own different ways, and June Fourth has become an important part of their lives. This report is based on a combination of several parties’ conversations at clubhouse and telephone interviews with the Voice of America.
Chen Jun: Pro-lifers should not sanctify themselves
Chen Jun was born in 1958 in Shanghai to a family of “historical counterrevolutionaries. He grew up with a distant uncle, who was branded a rightist in 1957 and was again arrested during the Cultural Revolution and later committed suicide. In 1976, after graduating from high school, Chen Jun joined the Shanghai Metallurgical Construction and Installation Company as a welder, and in 1978 he entered the Philosophy Department of Fudan University. 1983, Chen Jun graduated from Fudan University and was assigned to the Metallurgical Bureau Technical School as a teacher, and in 1984 he went to the United States with his American wife.
On January 6, 1989, Fang Li Zhi published an open letter to Deng Xiaoping calling for Wei Jingsheng’s release, and on February 13, 33 people from Beijing’s cultural community signed an open letter to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in support of Fang Li Zhi’s personal open letter to Deng Xiaoping written more than a month earlier. The initiator of the 33-person open letter was none other than Chen Jun. By this time, Chen Jun had returned to Beijing to open Jiejie Bar. He had become close friends with Liu Xiaobo, Cui Jian, Wang Shuo and many other cultural figures at the Cocoa Tree Bar in Shanghai. Chen Jun recalls that at that time he had three propositions: abolish counter-revolutionary crimes, release political prisoners, and if they could not be released, at least improve their treatment in prison. One day, he talked about this proposition with the poet Lao Mu, who then said to go find Bei Dao. After that, they found Fang Lizhi’s house, who thought the content was too radical and revised the content of the open letter to get signatures from people one by one.
Chen Jun said that there were 33 signatories at that time, and he, as the initiator, signed at the end for two reasons: first, those were people of great importance at that time, and he was not that famous; second, he was young and impetuous, and actually looked down on these intellectuals in Beijing.
Chen Jun recalls that among those who sought signatures at that time, Qian Zhongshu did not sign, on the grounds that he had not had any relationship with the Communist Party for many years and did not want to have any relationship now. After the letter was signed, Chen Jun held a press conference in his bar, and reporters from around the world, including the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the New York Times, showed up. Chen Jun said, “At that time I made a speech saying that this was the first time in decades that Chinese intellectuals had broken their silence.” At the same time, they also called for making the amnesty for political prisoners a proposal of the National People’s Congress (NPC), setting up an investigation committee on Wei Jingsheng, establishing an information center to link signatures, and demanding that “human rights protection” be included in the constitution at the next NPC.
The next day, newspapers in many countries around the world reported extensively on the “open letter” signed by 33 people to the CPC Central Committee and the NPC. The Ministry of Justice immediately reacted by naming Chen Jun as a member of the “reactionary organization” CNDL, and twice asked Bing Xin, who had signed the letter, to come out and speak, saying that she had been deceived by Chen Jun.
Chen Jun said that he had no direct contact with Bing Xin and did not know her very well. But there was a reason why she gained so much fame in China at that time and could be provided for. Of course it cannot be said that she was completely without conscience. Ba Jin was in his eighties when he finally wrote a book called “A Collection of True Words”, telling the truth, isn’t that what elementary school students are taught, isn’t that the sadness of our society, the sadness of Chinese intellectuals?
Chen Jun recalls that at that time, Bei Dao also blamed him for not telling him about his membership in the CNDL. Chen Jun said, “Whether one is a member of the CNDL or not has little to do with signing the letter; the signatories are only responsible for the content of the letter, and we are not playing by the rules of the Communist Party. If the CNDU supports human rights and democracy, I will support the CNDU.”
After spending a month writing a report on the issue of amnesty in 1989, on March 18, Chen Jun presented the report in his personal capacity to the NPC deputies, Wan Li, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, and Yang Shangkun, President of the People’s Republic of China, and managed to entrust a reporter to deliver this report to the two NPC Standing Committee members. Later, Chen Jun held a seminar at a hotel between some of the signatories and some of the NPC’s Hong Kong and Macau delegates, in an attempt to establish a process to study and propose certain specific policy recommendations in accordance with existing legal provisions, and to engage in human rights activities within the scope of existing laws. At this time, the Chinese government monitored Chen Jun even more closely, with three cars at the gate every day, as each of the three members of their family was followed by a car when they went out. in April, Chen Jun was then deported back to New York, USA.
By this time, Liu Xiaobo, a lecturer at Beijing Normal University, had also arrived in New York and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University. Hu Ping, who had run for freedom in Beijing, also dropped out of Harvard University and moved to New York in 1988 to serve full-time as president of the CNDL. “This event immediately attracted the attention of Hu Ping, Liu Xiaobo and Chen Jun, who were in New York at the time, and they immediately took action to support the Beijing students.
On April 20, 1989, Hong Kong Ming Pao published a report that “Hu Ping, Liu Xiaobo, Chen Jun and 10 others jointly issued a ‘Reform Proposal’ urging the Chinese Communist Party to reflect on and correct its mistakes. In the “Reform Proposals,” they proposed “re-examining …… the 1983 campaign to remove spiritual pollution” and “issues related to the 1987 anti-bourgeoisie liberalization campaign. They proposed to “revise the Constitution”, abolish the “Four Basic Principles”, add provisions to protect basic human rights, open up the private press, prohibit the criminalization of speech, and truly implement freedom of speech, freedom of publication, and freedom of the press. Freedom of the press.
Then, on April 22, Liu Xiaobo published an article in the World Journal, “Reflections on the Phenomenon of Hu Yaobang’s Death,” proposing “to abandon the reform model of looking for an enlightened monarch and try to take a path to transform China from the system. On the same day, he drafted an “Open Letter to Chinese University Students”, proposing seven suggestions on how to carry out the student movement, which was co-signed by Hu Ping, Chen Jun and others. Five days later, on April 26, Liu Xiaobo interrupted his study visit and returned to China early to participate in this democratic movement.
In talking about Liu Xiaobo’s reason for returning to China, Chen Jun said, at that time, Liu Xiaobo, Hu Ping and I had an idea to wean ourselves from the previous generation of intellectuals. I think Chinese intellectuals, instead of dual personalities, are multiple personalities, keeping silent on important issues, wanting both flowers and applause, but also intentionally avoiding risks, which is inherently human nature and nothing to criticize. However, this is the most elite group of people in this society, and it is sad that they cannot adhere to the most basic principles in the smallest matters and do not know personal rights and rights over personal right and wrong interests, so I was somewhat down on the Beijing intellectuals at that time. Liu Xiaobo and I have had many reflections on intellectuals before. He and I wanted to hold a seminar on Liu Binyan’s “The Second Kind of Loyalty” (Editor’s note: “The Second Kind of Loyalty” is a report published by Liu Binyan in 1985, which tells the story of two ordinary people who kept advising the Party by death. The subtext of the second kind of loyalty is actually for the good of the country and the good of the Party, not to say whether we have the right to criticize the government, but to share our worries and offer advice to the government from the perspective of social sages.
News of the seminar to be held reached Liu Binyan, who criticized Liu Xiaobo, saying that he was young and frivolous and wanted to make a name for himself by criticizing celebrities, and that the CNDU was a group of young people who did not know the sky was the limit and were politically naive and extreme.
When Beijing students began to commemorate Hu Yaobang, Liu Xiaobo thought that the opportunity to talk about democracy and freedom for many years had finally come, and that intellectuals could not just sit on the wall, could not just do the role of pointing to the mountains, but had to test their ideas through practice. This is the reason why he went back.
After 1995, Chen Jun gradually faded out of overseas pro-democracy activities, describing himself as retreating from the first line to the third line, but he did not stop reflecting on the Chinese pro-democracy movement, on Chinese intellectuals, and even on the June Fourth students. He says, “I studied philosophy and prefer to think from a human perspective, rather than stand in a huge political discourse system to understand the movement and sanctify myself, while eliminating human weaknesses.
Ren Songlin: You can’t “keep up with the times” in the pro-democracy movement
Ren Songlin, born in Beijing in 1954, is the son of Ren Zhongzai, the chief prosecutor of the military tribunal in Beiping, who received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Nankai University in 1982, studied at the University of Massachusetts in 1984 at his own expense, and then went to the University of Kentucky in 1986 to pursue a doctorate in physics after receiving a master’s degree in physics.
Ren Songlin recalls that many international students at that time, like him, were survivors of the Cultural Revolution and top performers after the resumption of the college entrance examination. At that time, the reform in China was starting to take off, and there seemed to be a lot of relaxation, and the culture of “national scholar” among international students was very strong. It was for this reason that he met Chinese post-doc Wu Fangcheng at the University of Kentucky and became a good friend.
Ren Songlin recalled that the Chinese Democratic Solidarity Union (CDSU), founded by Dr. Bingzhang Wang in 1983, was the first opposition organization for international students overseas and had considerable influence among international students at that time. And the magazine “China Spring” published by CDFU was widely circulated among international students, “its arguments were following the ‘Xidan Democracy Wall’ in the late 1970s, criticizing current affairs and advocating democracy, which was popular and had a very strong appeal to international students at that time”.
In 1987, Wu Fangcheng invited Dr. Wang Bingzhang, the president of the Democratic League, to give a speech at the university. At that time, the Chinese Communist Party had already publicly qualified the Democratic League as a “reactionary organization”, so although it was openly legal in the United States, it was considered underground and mysterious to the international students at that time. However, Wang Bingzhang’s speech was very successful and brought the students and the DFL closer together, which led to the development of the DFL in Kentucky.
At that time, there was a Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) at the University of Kentucky, which was basically funded by the Embassy. At that time, one of the tasks of the CSSA was to report on what was going on among the students, including their political thoughts and study status. When did they pass their exams, who changed departments, who was working on a project, who was working part-time, who was inclined to stay in the U.S. and find a job, and so on. The backbone of the “sorority” has consciously or unconsciously become a special student. In order to effectively monitor the international students and visiting scholars from China, the embassy also established an underground “party group” among the international students and visiting scholars. At that time, all international students wanted to stay and work after graduation, so they tried every possible way not to let their study progress be known in China, and they abhorred the spying behavior of making “small reports”.
On January 17, 1987, Fang Lizhi, Wang Ruowang and Liu Binyan were named by Deng Xiaoping for their “bourgeois liberalization”. When they were expelled from the Party and even from public office, all the international students in the United States initiated a signature protest against the “anti-liberalization” in China, and thousands of them signed the protest, which was published in overseas Chinese newspapers and caused a sensation.
The second signature was the dissatisfaction of international students with the mainland authorities’ policy of requiring them to return to their home countries within a certain period of time regardless of whether they had received public funding. They demanded that this rule be changed. Ren Songlin said that at that time, international students who passed the doctoral qualification examination were only given a two-year passport by the embassy and had to return home after completing their doctoral dissertation, with no chance to stay in the United States to work, thus causing dissatisfaction among international students. The person in charge of the first signature campaign was Yu Hai of Princeton University; the general person in charge of the second signature campaign was Minxin Pei of Harvard University. In these two signature campaigns, Ren Songlin was in charge of organizing the activities at the University of Kentucky.
In May 1988, when the “Fellowship” of the University of Kentucky was due for re-election, many students asked Ren Songlin to run for office. Ren agreed. Ren recalls that the election was held on the grass behind the graduate dormitory, and the election was completed after an hour of recommending candidates, voting, counting votes, and announcing the results. Ren Songlin was elected as president and Wu Fangcheng as vice president.
The embassy was very annoyed by the election results, but could not overturn the legal election, so it had to register another “sorority”, abbreviated as CSA in English, with one less S, and also called “sorority” in Chinese, “sorority “became a twin. Thus, the University of Kentucky Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the first independent and autonomous student organization for overseas Chinese students, was born.
Ren Songlin recalls that at that time, this independent student organization did not really have much to do with the later All-American Students and Scholars Association (“All-American Chinese Students and Scholars Autonomous Federation”) and the roaring academic movement in China, except that it was hoped that the Chinese Communist-controlled international student organization in the school at that time would maintain normal relations with the embassy and not to snitch. The student organizations could only represent the students, not the government.
The election, however, received more than a dozen media reports, especially the Chinese government’s meddling in the selection and control of the student organization, which even made headlines in the local newspapers.
A year later, this student organization became a major force in support of the Beijing student movement among international students in the Midwest, because prior to the June 4 massacre, the only one representing the entire school in support of the student movement was the University of Kentucky, while international students at other schools were only representing individuals. Therefore, although they were a six-hour drive from Chicago, they became the only student organization that participated in the pro-democracy movement before the June 4 massacre.
Ren Songlin recalled that the day after the “April 26th editorial” was published, he and four other international students from the University of Chicago, including Li Sanyuan, went to the Chinese Embassy to submit a letter of protest to oppose the characterization of the student movement in the “April 26th editorial” on behalf of Midwestern international students. He said that our activities were closely related to the student movement in China, and we would respond to almost any activities of the students in Beijing.
In the early hours of June 4, 1989, the world was shocked by the Communist Party’s bloody and forceful clearing of Tiananmen Square. Ren Songlin recalls that at that time we kept very close contact with students in China, so we soon learned about the massacre. As a result, more than 4,000 Chinese students from 27 Midwestern universities immediately organized themselves to protest the massacre in front of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago.
The international students laid two large wreaths, wrote two elegiac couplets, a black coffin in front of the press, and marched in protest, each wearing a black veil and a white cloth around their heads. During the march, Chinese students from 27 Midwestern universities met at Purdue University and established the “Midwestern Chinese Students and Scholars Autonomous Association,” published the “Letter to Chinese Compatriots” and issued the “6-3 Tiananmen Square Massacre”. The “Truth about the 6-3 Tiananmen Square Massacre” was published, and a publication “The Scream” was produced.
As the commander-in-chief of the march, Ren Songlin recalls that he came up with the slogan: “Fight to the Communists!” Twenty-seven universities voted at the time, and four opposed the slogan, including the University of Chicago, but it was adopted anyway. At the march, however, no one was ever willing to lead the chant. So Ren Songlin got anxious and shouted this slogan over the loudspeaker, “Fight to the Communists!” What he didn’t expect was that the whole crowd would follow suit and shout this slogan. Ren Songlin said, like Wang Dan, they are still young students in our eyes. People like us, who experienced the Anti-Rightist Movement, the Cultural Revolution, and the destruction of our families, opposed the Communist Party not from the June 4 massacre, but have always opposed the Communist Party. Of course, when this slogan was shouted, it was not meant to physically destroy the CCP, it was just a litmus test to see the level of ideological awareness and to see how many people could accept this slogan.
According to media reports at the time, the establishment of the Midwest Chinese Students and Scholars Autonomous Association was not an isolated case. “The June 4 massacre led international students to form their own student self-governing associations and to adopt a two-no policy towards the CCP – neither recognizing nor cooperating with Li Peng’s government. “The memorial service for the June 3 tragedy was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the afternoon of June 4 (initially “June 3” was used, but a few days later “June 4” began to be used). The Boston area’s Autonomous Federation of Mainland Students was sworn in.
On the evening of June 13, the Boston University Chinese Students’ Association was established. From July 28 to 31, 1989, more than 350 delegates elected by more than 30,000 Chinese students and visiting scholars from nearly 200 universities and research institutions in the United States held a general meeting in Chicago and adopted the charter of the National Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars, and elected the president, vice president, board of directors and supervisory committee. The conference was held in Chicago, where more than 350 delegates were elected to adopt a charter, elect a president, a board of directors and a supervisory committee, and declare the establishment of the National Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (NFCSSS), which is independent of Chinese Communist Party control, on August 1. Hu Ping described it as all international students going up to Liang Shan.
Ren Songlin recalled that on October 1, 1989, 40,000 international students marched in DC under the organization of the ACSF, which was an unprecedented demonstration. In 1992, AFSL successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Chinese Students Protection Act of 1992, which led to the issuance of green cards to all Chinese students at that time and made them one of the major forces of the overseas pro-democracy movement.
A few years later, says Ren Songlin, the five major events of the ACSF were held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, which happened to be the same name as the town where the first shots of the American War of Independence were fired, so some people jokingly said that the May 1988 elections of the Kentucky Independent Student Organization fired the first shots of the overseas democratic republican battle. The first shot of the overseas democratic and republican battle was fired.
Ren Songlin said that the first five years after the founding of the All-American Students Federation (ASF) could be said to be the climax of the overseas democracy movement, and ASF played an important organizational role. However, after the mid-1990s, Jiang Zemin was in charge of the country and advocated “making a fortune by muffled voices”, while international students had already obtained their green cards and started to catch the tide to start their own businesses in China. In this regard, Ren Songlin lamented that one could not be “in tune with the times” in the pro-democracy movement, otherwise one would be in tune with the Communist Party.
After receiving his PhD in physics from the University of Kentucky in 1992, Ren worked in science and technology and retired in 2012. He is now engaged in collecting, organizing, and researching historical documents on the War of Resistance and the National Government’s post-war trials of Japanese war criminals. Both of Mr. Ren’s parents worked at the military tribunal in Beiping, with his father, Ren Zhongwei, serving as chief prosecutor and his mother, Pan Yu, as a major interpreter. During the Cultural Revolution, both of his parents died one after another due to persecution.
Yu Dahai: No regrets about joining the pro-democracy movement
Yu Dahai was born in Tianjin in 1961. In 1978, he won a national mathematics competition for middle school students. In October of that year, he entered the Physics Department of Peking University without examination.
In 1980, elections for people’s representatives at the county and district levels were held throughout the country, and many universities saw enthusiastic campaigning. Peking University students such as Hu Ping and Wang Juntao also ran for the Haidian District People’s Congress. Yu Dahai, who was 19 years old at the time, also participated in the free campaign. Yu Dahai recalled, “At that time, Wang Juntao and I were in the same department, and I was quite concerned about social issues, but Wang Juntao and I were not quite the same, he was in the Communist Youth League, and I felt that I had quite a lot of votes from science students, while there were many arts students, such as Hu Ping, who were running for election. So I also signed up for the election.” After the election, he realized that his speech level and theory level were still much worse, and there was a sense of loss. However, the young Yu Hai quickly recovered and always maintained his passion for politics.
In September 1982, Yu Dahai came to the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a PhD in physics through the China-United States Joint Graduate Program in Physics (CUSPEA) initiated by Li Zhengdao. Soon after, Yu Dahai wanted to switch to liberal arts, thinking it would be more useful for reform back in China in the future. In March 1983, Professor Zou Zhizhuang of the Department of Economics at Princeton University invited Yu Hai for an interview. Soon after, Yu Dahai was admitted to Princeton University for his PhD in economics. In that year, Professor Zou Zhizhuang also recommended that Yu Hai come to Princeton for his PhD in economics, and Yang Xiaokai, who later became a famous economist.
Yu Dahai said he didn’t know who Yang Xiaokai was at the time, but later read a report that Yang Xiaokai had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his article “Where is China Going? Professor Zou read Yang Xiaokai’s book and thought he was a genius, so he got him to study at PUC. Yu Dahai’s association with Yang Xiaokai strengthened his aversion to political persecution.
After he started to read economics, Yu Dahai found that the economics he studied in the United States was a million miles away from the orthodox Marxist economics in China. He felt that Chinese students studying economics in North America should unite to form a force so that they would not be persecuted or branded as rightists after returning to China, and that they could help each other later when they returned to China. So the idea of establishing a group of economists in North America came up.
Yu Dahai recalled that the first meeting was arranged by Yang Xiaokai in New York City on April 17, 1984. 8 people attended the meeting and talked about their personal experiences, reading experiences and views on domestic economic reform. After that, Yu Dahai and Yang Xiaokai discussed how to hold the next gathering.
In the fall, they came to the conclusion that first, the 1985 gathering should open the door and invite all Chinese students from all over the United States to attend, and try to find money to reimburse the participants’ travel expenses; second, the gathering should be turned into a formal academic seminar.
Because of Yang Xiaokai’s academic pressure, the next task fell mainly on Yu Hai. In order to apply for funds from the Ford Foundation, on February 4, 1985, Yu Dahai registered the Chinese Association for International Students in Economics in New Jersey, and he, Yang Xiaokai, and Qian Yingyi from Harvard University became the first board members.
Yu Dahai recalled, “At that time, we positioned the newly established Society as an independent academic group, unlike the Students and Scholars Association, which was under the leadership of the embassies and consulates, or a political group like the Democratic League, so we can say it was the first of its kind. After the Society was incorporated, we thought that we would try to hold our first meeting at the New York Consulate because, first, we would not have any secrets to speak of, and we would hold it right under their noses so that they would be assured that it would be convenient for them to return to their home countries. Secondly, it is convenient to solve the accommodation and food, which is much cheaper than eating and staying outside.”
In November 1984, Yu Dahai went to the New York Consulate to request a meeting, and after several trips, finally agreed reluctantly in May 1985. The first annual meeting of the Society was held on May 25, 1985 at the New York Consulate, with 58 participants. The next day, at the discussion on the establishment of the Society, the leaders were elected and Yu Hai became the first president of the Society.
The rapid growth of the Society exceeded the expectations of Yu Dahai and Yang Xiaokai, with 120 participants at the second annual meeting in 1986, and it has continued to grow rapidly since then, and is still very active today.
After the 1987 annual meeting of the Society, Yu Dahai withdrew from the Society’s directorship and gradually shifted his focus to the democracy movement.
When Yu Dahai was a student in the Physics Department of Peking University, he invited Fang Lizhi to give a lecture at Peking University, and his intermediary was his wife, Li Shuxian, a professor in the Physics Department of Peking University. In January 1987, Fang Li Zhi, Wang Ruowang and Liu Binyan were named by Deng Xiaoping and expelled from the Party. Soon after, Hu Yaobang stepped down. The day after he was named and expelled from the Party, Yu Hai was approached by students to sign an open letter. The letter was very successful, with over a thousand signatures from international students, and was published in many media. According to Yu Dahai, the open letter and the signatures were instrumental in ending the “anti-liberalization” at that time.
Yu Dahai recalled that in April 1989, he also participated in the co-signing of the two letters by Liu Xiaobo, Hu Ping and Chen Jun, both of which were drafted by Hu Ping and initiated by Hu Ping and Liu Xiaobo in the editorial office of China Spring.
Looking back on June 4, Yu Dahai said, I think one of the most important things I did during this period was to ask a friend to bring a donation of $2,000 to the Square. The money was said to be the third largest foreign exchange donation and could support the students’ expenses for one day at the square. So, I did a little bit of real support for the 1989 pro-democracy movement, and the only thing I regret is that I didn’t donate much.
After the June 4 massacre, Yu Hai was almost fully engaged in the pro-democracy movement, first being persuaded by Chen Yichuan to chair the daily work of the Center for Contemporary China Studies, and then becoming the president of the 5th CNDL in 1991. He then founded and served as editor-in-chief of Beijing Spring until July 1996, when he returned to Princeton to complete his doctoral studies. In December 1997, Yu defended his doctorate, and in February 1998, he took a position as an assistant professor at Tufts University near Boston.
Despite the fact that his work in the pro-democracy movement delayed the completion of his studies, Yu said, “I don’t regret it. Before returning to Princeton to finish his doctoral dissertation, he wrote an article entitled “The Glory of the Democracy Movement”. In the essay, he compared the participants of the pro-democracy movement to lighthouse builders who do not take rewards for their contributions to society and have reason to feel proud even if they do not receive the corresponding rewards and recognition.
Yu Dahai recalls that after the June 4 massacre, all people of conscience were righteously indignant. He was approached by the head of the Economics Association of America and asked for his opinion on a public statement. However, Yu Dahai’s idea was unexpected. He said, the Society emphasizes academic, political unity; second, the Society is like my child, I do not care to give up, the Society does not want. However, at that time, the Society still took a stand and expressed indignation at the massacre. Yu Dahai said, I do not agree with the stance, the tone is too high. Soon after, the Society was forced to resume contact with the official situation. Yu Dahai said again, this I also do not oppose, maintain the promotion of economic reform or the need for talent. For those who took the June 4 green card and then returned to China to start their own business, he also expressed his understanding.
In 1983, Yu Dahai switched from physics to economics with the intention of returning to China to better participate in the domestic economic reform. However, it was not until the end of 1994 when a list of 49 people with restricted entry was leaked that Yu Dahai learned that he had been on this blacklist as early as August 1991 and could not return to China.
Recently, Yu Dahai has written an autobiography, the first two chapters of which are about the Economics Association of the United States of America, and the next dozen chapters are about the Chinese National League and the overseas pro-democracy movement, titled My Chinese Heart.
Hong Yujian: For the Faith
Hong Yujian, a member of the old guard during the Cultural Revolution, was not yet 16 years old when he went to the countryside as a farmer in 1968, entered the chemistry department of Fudan University in 1978, and enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania in 1985 to pursue studies in physical chemistry.
Hong said he came to the United States with the desire to pursue science and democracy. The University of Pennsylvania is part of the Ivy League in the United States, so he was very satisfied at that time and thought he could make a big difference. However, academically, he felt that he had entered a dark forest and discovered that many explanations in science were actually hypotheses of some kind, with only relative value.
At the same time, “democracy” also began to frustrate Hong Yujian.
In early 1987, when international students signed the first big petition to protest against “anti-bourgeois liberalization” and Hu Yaobang’s stepping down, Hong Yujian found that only five international students at Penn, including him, had signed the petition. This made Hong Yujian feel confused, why did he dare not speak the truth when he was overseas? Wouldn’t he have no chance to speak the truth for the rest of his life? He said, at that time, my wife also advised me not to sign, fearing that I could not return to my country, but I said no, I could not be so stifled in my life, otherwise I would regret it later.
After this signature, Hong Yujian was unstoppable. When Li Peng promulgated martial law, Penn students were all in the classroom, firmly supporting the demands of the Beijing students. Hong Youjian was the first to stand up and give a speech at Penn. After the June 4 massacre was voiced, Penn students held a large outdoor protest in Philadelphia’s Freedom Plaza. The official student-scholar fellowship was broken up, and each school formed its own autonomous association, and Hong Yujian was elected to Penn’s autonomous association.
Hong Yujian recalled that at that time, he hosted the “June Fourth Democracy Seminar” in the Philadelphia area, and the classrooms were packed to the brim with people after seven or eight times, however, there were fewer people, and people complained about how they were not notified, and then they had to be notified one by one by phone. Hong Youjian feel strange, the result is that someone told him, old Hong old Hong, we all took pictures on the street, worried about the persecution back home, if you continue to participate is not good to explain, have a green card is good to do. In 1992, the “Chinese Students Protection Act of 1992” was passed, making the Chinese students at that time were given green cards, but still no one attended the seminar and cared about June 4, and someone told him, “Old Hong, we have a green card, the next focus is to find a job, buy a house, China and I do not have much to do with, Hong Yujian can not help but Hong Yujian could not help but feel sad.
Hong Youjian said, at that time said that China does not have democracy is the Chinese people are not well educated, this is actually a front, because they are students, and are also in overseas students, the elite of the elite. When I say this to Westerners, they say of course. It is evident that it is not a matter of knowledge, but a matter of belief and value. So, with a double disappointment in science and democracy, Hong Yujian joined a Bible study at Penn and from then on, embarked on the path of faith.
In the spring of 1991, Yujian Hong received his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. In the same year, he went to Canada for post-doctoral research, during which time he became a believer, and in the fall of 1992 he enrolled in Vancouver’s Verein School of Theology, where he received his Master’s degree in Christian Studies in the spring of 1995. Since May 1996, he has been the senior pastor of Vancouver Baptist Faithful Church. Every year on June 4, Faithful Friends Church in Vancouver, Canada sponsors a prayer meeting for June 4.