Exiled Tiananmen leader Wang Dan has announced that he will be leaving Taiwan for the US in June, and that he will continue to fight for China’s human rights and democracy there.

In a Facebook live post last week, Wang said that he was physically tired and that he will be moving to Washington DC in the US when his teaching job in Taiwan comes to an end in June.

Wang Dan. Photo: 王丹网站 Wang Dan’s Page.

The Tiananmen massacre occurred on June 4, 1989 ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed to crack down on protesters in Beijing.

Fighting the Communist Party

“I’ve already been teaching in Taiwan for seven years… these seven years I have been under quite a bit of pressure and it’s had a negative effect on my health,” Wang said in an interview with Radio Free Asia. “I think I need to rest for a while.”

Wang said that a huge goal in his life is to fight against the Communist Party, and prepare for changes that could take place in China in the future. He also said he has hope for the younger generation in China, many of whom he has encountered whilst teaching.

A Tiananmen commemoration in Hong Kong, 2016. Photo: Todd Darling.

According to Wang, as China’s economic development slows, more and more political risks will present themselves, as China’s political stability is built on economic strength.

Wang also said that Taiwan still has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to civic education, which he believes is essential for a democratic society to excel.

Wang, 47, played a leading role in the Tiananmen protests. To this day, the Beijing government has not apologised for its actions and terms relating to the massacre are heavily censored online. Recently declassified files showed that a month before the incident, the then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said that “two hundred dead could bring 20 years of peace to China,” according to the British administration.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.