I am starting to write a series article around the case of Xu Zhiyong. As my typical reaction to many event, I don’t want to jump to something that just happened without gathering enough information. Basically, facts are the hardest part in China, and after gathering enough facts, I still need to sometime to think about it, before I form something. Now, several weeks past after Zhiyong was brought away by the policeman, I want to start to write something. The series of article is called the “Significance of Xu Zhiyong”. This is the first article.
My Friend Zhiyong
I met Zhiyong for the first time during the 2007 YLF Nanjing trip, although I have known him by name for quite some time. As most people know him, I was so impressed and inspired by his belief that China can be better. When most of the people stopped thinking about the future of China (as forbidden by the government), he still dreams about the future. We spent wonderful three days in Nanjing, and the longest talk happened in the bar near the Nanjing University. When most of the YLFer went to dance, Zhiyong, Nick Yu, and I sat around the table to discuss legal/moral/democratic processes of China for the whole night. I will talk about it later, but the short version is, I found I am inspired to run for a seat at Shanghai People’s Congress the next round, because in December 2003, running as an independent candidate, he won the only openly contested election for a seat in the Beijing People’s Congress. He said the law gives everyone the right to run for it, and why give it up?
My Favorite Photo of Zhiyong
Among many photo I took during that trip, below is the best I choose for Zhiyong. I even don’t remember whether I have sent it to Zhiyong afterwards.
Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang, December 1, 2007 at Nanjing Zhongshan Memorial
Right behind his shoulder is “civil right”! He was so born in the county named “Minquan”, which means “Civil right” in Chinese, in Henan. That is what he fights for in the last few years.
Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang at Nanjing Guest House
In the next few articles, I want to comment more about why the way Zhiyong did and the case of Zhiyong were so significant to the modern China.