Chai ling is an activist nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. He gained notoriety as Wang Dan after having a leading role in the events framed in the movement of the Tienanmen Square.
This historical event, which occurred between April 15 and June 4, 1989, is a controversial chapter in the history of humanity. The reason: to dissolve the concentration in which various sectors of society participated, the Chinese government sent tanks and infantry. As a consequence, there were numerous casualties and injuries.
Chai Ling was born on April 15, 1966, in a province located in northeast China named Shandong. His parents were members of the Communist Party and she began her militancy at an early age, joining the Communist Youth League Central. This party coalition recognized his qualities by naming a model student for his qualifications, moral character and good health.
Shortly after, Chai Ling began to put on trial the political doctrines he had grown up with. It happened while studying Child Psychology at Beijing Normal University. In accordance with his new convictions, he began to participate in demonstrations demanding substantial changes from the government.
The decision to fight
For Chai Ling and his fellow students, the censorship of the Chinese people was unheard of; the inequality that the prevailing system fostered and the corruption of government officials. That is why they raised their voices. Not without evaluating the possible consequences it could have on them.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the activist recalled what her reflections were on that historic moment. I knew I had two options. One was leave your country and dedicate himself to doing his graduate work, in a nation like the United States, where he would have a secure future. The other route was enforce its precepts and actively fight for change, even if that meant a possible prison sentence. He chose to risk: “I really love my country”.
His decision triggered an action. In April 1989, a group of students, including Chai Ling, organized a protest demanding freedom from the government. The place of the rally would be Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Surely, they could not imagine the magnitude of the government response to their requests.
The Tiananmen Square Massacre
More than a million protesters occupied Tiananmen Square in April 1989. Until then, it was the largest mobilization in China. The protesters created a festive atmosphere by waving flags and banners with their requests. Chai Ling was there for several weeks. Together with other protesters, he led a hunger strike and other actions. He sought to draw attention to the international community to speak out.
To keep the energy of the student movement alive, he delivered an emotional speech on May 12. The emotionality of his speech earned him international recognition and appointment as Commander of the Student Movement pro democratic. Copies of his words were distributed throughout China. In some way, this contributed to the increase in the number of Protestants.
Tiananmen Square today
During the night of June 3, the decision to suppress the protest using violent means materialized. Riot police, army troops and tanks arrived in the square. They cut off the electricity and detonated firearms at the protesters.
All the stories about that night coincide in illustrating the violent death of thousands of Protestants. Twenty-five years after the event, Chai Ling said, “I grew up surrounded by the army. The soldiers were my uncles and aunts. He couldn’t believe that they had turned into monsters that fired machine guns at innocent students. That was very shocking. ”
Chai Ling’s escape and reappearance
Chai Ling saved her life, but the government listed her of 21 most wanted students. She had to escape together with her husband Feng Congde. For ten months they managed to avoid capture. In an interview with the New York Times, Chai Ling assured that they were not caught thanks to the support of Chinese citizens. To help the dissidents, they organized and used their own resources to prevent their capture and execution.
Thanks to this spontaneous collaboration, Chai Ling remained in hiding until he was able to move to France. There she found political asylum with her husband and stayed for 10 months.
The way in which he communicated that he had managed to evade his pursuers was through the dissemination of a recorded statement. His words were broadcast on a Hong Kong television network. In the video he says: “I am Chai Ling. I am already safe ”. He also narrated that on his way to freedom, he almost lost his strength. Through tears he also remembered those who sacrificed their lives in the fight for democracy and freedom.
Nobel Peace Prize nomination
In 1990 Chai Ling moved to U.S where he continued his studies. Completed a master’s degree in Business Administration at Harvard Business School. In 1998 he founded a nonprofit organization whose main objective is to support student leaders interested in humanitarian causes.
During his first years of stay in that country, he toured seven cities. The activist also participated in a rally to commemorate the events in Tienanmen Square, held in front of the US Capitol. During his speech at the event, Chai Ling urged those who work to establish democracy in China to continue fighting for the achievement of their dream.
In North America the activist he divorced and found a new faith in Christianity. In this religious context, she formed another humanitarian and non-profit organization called “All Girls Allowed”. The organization seeks to put an end to government policies instituted in China, which threaten the free development of women. For example, the control of the number of children that can be procreated.
For her initiatives, Chai Ling has been considered twice to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The first was in 1989 and the second time was nominated in 2010.
His new religion also inspired a book he published in 2011, “A heart for freedom.” Chai Ling says he prays for the Chinese leaders.
You can watch an interview (in English) with Chai Ling below.