|Xi Jinping: Consolidation of power (photo by By 美国之音)|
In an article published on Taiwan's website Apple Daily, Wang Dan casts away all hopes that the People's Republic of China might eventually move towards democracy. On the contrary. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, he writes, the Communist Party is undergoing a process of "Fascistisation" (中共的法西斯化).
Wang Dan is a prominent Chinese political thinker and activist, but one whose fate has been tragically shaped by Communist media censorship. His name has been erased from mainland China's collective memory and history, just like the political upheaval of which he was a leader in 1989. During that decade, in which China's authorities cautiously allowed an unprecedented degree of freedom, Wang Dan was one of the organisers of the "Democratic Salon", a study group and discussion platform on the campus of Beijing University. Wang Dan was a twenty-year-old student who, like many others of his generation, tried to change the face of the Communist state by political action from the bottom. On June 4th 1989, his dreams abruptly ended when the People's Liberation Army put down what the state leadership had called a "counterrevolution".
Wang Dan was arrested on July 2, 1989, and remained in custody until his trial began in 1991. He was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of "counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement". He was taken to Qincheng, a maximum-security prison in Beijing's outskirts. Although he was released in 1993, he was arrested again two years later and in 1996 he was sentenced to eleven years in prison on charges of "subverting state power", the exact same crime of which Wang Dan's friend Liu Xiaobo was later accused (see Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China, pp. 114-115).