Chen Ziming – Veteran Dissident ‘Who Worried About China And Its People’

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A commentary by Bao Tong


Wen Yongfen, the mother of jailed dissident Chen Ziming, holds a photo of her cancer-stricken son during a discrete protest in a Beijing park Oct 22, 1995.

Chen Ziming was arrested in late 1989 for his involvement in the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests of 1989. He was alleged to be one of the “black hands” behind the mass movement that paralyzed central Beijing for weeks on end, and ended when then supreme leader Deng Xiaoping ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to fire on unarmed civilians. Bao Tong himself served a seven-year jail term after the fall of his political mentor and former premier Zhao Ziyang in the wake of the bloody crackdown:

Mr. Chen Ziming was in his sixties. He was a man who was worried about death, worried about his country, and worried about its people.

Originally a chemist with a stellar academic record, he later gave up this line of work and devoted himself to worrying about his country and its people full time.

Because of this, he was frequently put in jail, as a “counterrevolutionary black hand.” This was largely based on a single factor: his refusal to give up worrying for his country and its people.

Being concerned about one’s country and its people, it turns out, is a major crime, because here in the Middle Kingdom, we’re not allowed to do that.

The Middle Kingdom has leaders, and only they and their designated successors have the right to lead. They have cornered the market in worrying about the country and its people.



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