My name is Yang Jianli. I am a Tiananmen survivor. Ask me anything
Hello. My name is Yang Jianli. I grew up and attended college in China. After graduating, I was a mid-level official of the Communist Party. I disenchanted by the corruption within the party, and decided to go to the United States. I attended U.C. Berkeley to study mathematics. I saw the violence that was going on with the student demonstrations on TV and knew I had to join the movement in China. I witnessed the events at Tiananmen Square. An officer order troops to begin shooting. I saw students run over by the tanks. I went back to the United States to study democracy. I returned to China in 2002 to help the labor movement with non-violent demonstration strategies. I was arrested for having a faking identification card. I was kept in solitary confinement for 15 months. Later, I was sentenced to five years in prison. I am now free and continue to stand for human rights and democracy. I returned to the United States and formed the Initiatives for China to advocate for a peaceful transition to democracy in China.
My assistant Daniel Gong is assisting me with answers on the computer.