Sunday, 3 June 2018

Another Think Tank... on Democracy

Tiananmen student leader Wang Dan starts a new think tank on democracy
Tomorrow, the 29th anniversary of the June 4th crackdown, one of the student leaders, Wang Dan will launch his think tank in the United States.

It's called Dialogue China and its aim is to advocate democracy in China. One of the council members will be Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung. Others include former student leaders Wu'er Kaixi, Xiang Xiaoji, Wang Juntao and Su Xiaokang, along with American democracy expert Larry Diamond, veteran sinologist Perry Link, and Lin Fei-fan, leader of Taiwan's Sunflower Movement.

Joshua Wong is a council member of the think tank
"Facing the increasing suppression from the Chinese regime, we always believe a better connection with civil society and the international community would be important to push for Hong Kong's democracy," Wong, co-founder of Demosisto said.

While Beijing has warned of consequences of Hong Kong and Taiwan calling for independence, Wong isn't concerned. "Beijing has already been suppressing us. We are not worried at all."

However, he is currently on bail pending an appeal and faces travel restrictions. As a result, Jeffrey Ngo, a standing committee member of Demosisto, will speak on his behalf at Monday's seminar, titled "China's Threat to Global Freedom and Democracy".

Perry Link, co-author of the Tiananmen Papers is a member
In January, Wong was jailed for contempt of court for his part in the 2014 Occupy protests.

While being affiliated with this think tank may put Wong on more dangerous ground with Beijing, democracy is something he is passionate about and may spur him on to think of alternatives. There are some highly regarded people in this think tank and so Wong is in good company.

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