Also worth reading: Fang Lizhi's recent works on his native country and its hopes for political evolution, mainly in the New York Review of Books. These include a harsh review of Ezra Vogel's recent biography of Deng Xiaoping; a look back on the "confession" that was part of Fang's eventual exit from China; and the original text of the statement he issued after the Tiananmen shootings, these latter two translated by Perry Link.
The last words of Schell's article are resonant, 24 years later. He wrote them during a moment when it appeared that China might be part of the worldwide shift away from Communist authoritarian control:
Liberal friends who only the winter before had been gloomy about the prospect for political reform in China were now filled with a new optimism.
But, chastened by the many earlier abortive reform efforts, Fang remained skeptical about the future. When asked by the Hong Kong journal Baixing Banyue Kan how he viewed the outcome of the Congress and Zhao's clearly reform-minded speech to the Party, he replied, "It is true that Zhao's report was very stirring. But in his own time Mao Zedong made speeches that were even more stirring." After citing a host of ways in which the Party continued to conduct itself in an undemocratic fashion, Fang went on to warn, "It's not enough just to read of speeches in newspapers. One must always keep one's eye on reality...There are still just too many examples of authorities saying one thing but doing another."
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