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Jianli Yang: China After the Olympics

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Date and time
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tiananmen Square activist **Jianli Yang** discusses the state of human rights in China after the 2008 Olympic Games. The Olympics are over, but have promises by Chinese leaders come to pass? Faced with ever growing, cascading crises including earth quake, economic embargo by the West, Tibetan uprising, and pollution, how has current leadership responded? Is there viable democratic opposition in China today that could advance its agenda? What is the role of the international community?

Yang Jianli, Tiananmen Square activist in 1989, came to the United States, earned two Ph.D.s, and then founded the Foundation for China in the 21st Century. Given his political activism, he was blacklisted by the Chinese who refused to renew his passport. Jianli returned to China in April, 2002 on a friend's passport to view labor unrest in the northeastern part of China. He was detained when trying to board an internal flight. Since his initial detention, Jianli has been held incommunicado by the Chinese in violation of their own and international law. On July 14, 2003, Yang Jianli is indicted by the Chinese government on charges of espionage and crossing the national border illegally. On May 13, 2004, China sentenced Yang Jianli to five years in jail for illegally entering the country and spying.