Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Across Europe, Xu Wenli Advocates Chinese Democracy

September 21, 2010

Jiri Dienstbier and Xu Wenli

Institute Senior Fellow Xu Wenli toured 14 European countries this summer in the name of Chinese democracy.

“Europe is the birth place of ideals such as democracy, a republic, freedom, and human rights. It is also a safe haven for many Chinese political exiles banished for those ideals. My mission in Europe was to carry out diplomatic activities, academic exchanges, make friends, and rekindle the flame of desire for a republic in China,” Xu said upon his return.

Among his stops, Xu gave a lecture at the Free University of Berlin and another at the University of Vienna. He also visited with scholars, philanthropists, and dignitaries including Czech Senator Jiri Dienstbier, a past visiting scholar at the Watson Institute.

One of China's most recognized pro-democracy advocates, Xu spent 16 years in prison for his activities as a dissident. He is currently a leader of the China Democracy Party.