Famous Chinese Activists

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 1 
Ai Weiwei
(Artistic Consultant for Design of the Beijing National Stadium)
Ai Weiwei
7
Birthdate: August 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Named Art Review’s most powerful artist in 2011, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has become a symbol of resilience against the authoritarian Chinese government. Jailed and banned from leaving the country once, he is known for using various media, such as sculpture, photos, and documentaries, to reflect Chinese human-rights abuses.
 2 
Li Wenliang
(Chinese Ophthalmologist Who First Warned His Colleagues of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Wuhan)
Li Wenliang
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beizhen, Jinzhou, Liaoning, China
Died: February 7, 2020

Chinese ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was one of the first to identify the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. In late 2019, he alerted his colleagues of an illness that resembled SARS but didn’t respond to usual treatment. He was reprimanded and later died of COVID-19. He is since regarded as a medical hero.

 3 
Liu Xiaobo
(Chinese Human Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)
Liu Xiaobo
3
Birthdate: December 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Changchun, China
Died: July 13, 2017

Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese activist, literary critic, and philosopher. He is best remembered for organizing campaigns that aimed at ending the one-party rule in China. He was honored with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle for human rights in China. Liu is the first Chinese citizen to be honored with a Nobel Prize while residing in China.

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 4 
Wang Dan
(Chinese Human Rights Activist and Leader of the Tiananmen Square Protests)
Wang Dan
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beijing

Chinese human rights activist and democracy movement leader Wang Dan was one of the most significant student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. A Harvard alumnus, he was banned from China and even imprisoned for his political activities. He eventually moved into exile in the US.

 5 
Rebiya Kadeer
(2nd President of the World Uyghur Congress)
Rebiya Kadeer
2
Birthdate: November 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Altay, Altay Prefecture, China

Uyghur businesswoman and human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, who was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, was initially a housewife. Following her divorce, she opened her laundry business, which developed into a women’s bazaar. She was later arrested for revealing sensitive information but escaped to the U.S.

 6 
Harry Wu
(Chinese-American Activist Known for His Criticism of Human Rights Violations in China)
Harry Wu
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: April 26, 2016

Chinese-born American human rights activist Harry Wu spent almost 2 decades in Chinese labor camps. His criticism of the Soviet invasion of Hungary led him to be imprisoned. He later conducted research at the Hoover Institution, established the Laogai Research Foundation, and also penned a couple of books.

 7 
Fang Lizhi
(Chinese Astrophysicist and Activist Who Partly Inspired the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests)
Fang Lizhi
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: April 6, 2012

Chinese astrophysicist and activist Fang Lizhi inspired the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The dissident was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party for his activities, but that didn’t stop his research, which took him to institutes in the US and Great Britain. He also taught at the University of Arizona.

 8 
Hu Jia
(Chinese Human Rights Activist Known for His Fight for Democracy and the Environment)
Hu Jia
1
Birthdate: July 25, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beijing

Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia has worked extensively in fighting for the democratic and environmental movements in China and in combating HIV/AIDS. In 2008, he received the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Imprisoned and then released, he was named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

 9 
Taixu
(Chinese Buddhist Monk Who Modernized Buddhism)
Taixu
1
Birthdate: January 8, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Haining, Jiaxing, China
Died: March 17, 1947

Chinese Buddhist monk Taixu was also a modern thinker and an activist. Inspired by Sun Yat-sen and by the 1911 revolution, he set out to introduce reforms in the education of monks and in social welfare. He intended to fuse Buddhism with science and modern philosophy.

 10 
Liang Congjie
(Chinese Historian Who Established China's First Environmental NGO)
Liang Congjie
1
Birthdate: August 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: October 28, 2010

Chinese historian and celebrated environmental activist Liang Congjie co-founded Friends of Nature, the first Chinese environmental NGO. Instead of opposing the government, he suggested reforms for the existing environmental laws. He launched China’s first bird-watching group and promoted tree-planting. He received the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Services.

 11 
Molly Yard
(Chinese-Born American Feminist and Activist Who Led the National Organization for Women)
Molly Yard
1
Birthdate: July 6, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 21, 2005

The National Organization for Women’s 8th president, Molly Yard was a prominent Chinese-born American feminist and social activist. Initially part of the Democratic Party politics, she later helped establish the Americans for Democratic Action. She was awarded the Feminist Majority Foundation's lifetime achievement award. She also supported the labor and civil rights movements.

 12 
Paul Chan
(Hong Kong-Born American Artist, Writer, and Publisher)
Paul Chan
0
Birthdate: August 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong-born American artist Paul Chan wears multiple hats, from drawing, to writing and publishing. Known for his unusual creations, such as The 7 Lights, a projected-animation series, he is also the founder of the New York-based e-book publisher Badlands Unlimited. His work encompasses topics such as politics, porn, and violence.