Exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹) plans to found a think tank in Washington that would serve as an opposing voice to the Chinese government and would create a series of platforms over the next 10 years, he said.
Wang last year moved back to the US after living in Taiwan for eight years.
“This is the second major battle of my life,” he said in Maryland.
The first one was the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing, he said.
Wang is to be the chief executive and he has recommended Chinese dissident Hu Ping (胡平) as head of the academic committee, Su Xiaokang (蘇曉康), maker of the documentary River Elegy (河殤), as adviser and Chinese democracy campaigner Wang Juntao (王軍濤) as board chairman.
The final decisions are to be made by vote, he said.
Wang, who has taught at National Tsing Hua University, said that while in Taiwan he was already interested in think tanks and learned much from participating in events by the Youth Synergy Taiwan Foundation.
Chinese dissidents outside of China have campaigns and movements, but no think tanks, he said, adding that people need to do more than criticize the government.
The focus of the think tank is to be on China’s future, specifically its policies, he said.
A small think tank needs about US$500,000 each year, he said, adding that it would be financially difficult to open by June.
Most of the funds have come from friends in Taiwan who share similar political beliefs, he said.
However, many Taiwan independence advocates are not interested in China’s democratization, even though it is closely related to Taiwan’s interests, he said.
Meanwhile, Chinese who have immigrated to the US still fear the Chinese Communist Party, while Hong Kongers have more pressing issues to worry about, he said.
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