Dr. Wang Bingzhang was born on February 6, 1948 in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. In 1979, eight years after graduating from Beijing Medical University, he went to Canada to undertake graduate studies at McGill University in coronary-arterial research. Shortly after completing his PhD program in 1982, he renounced his career in medicine to dedicate his life to Chinese pro-democracy activism. He moved to New York where he founded China Spring magazine and co-founded several of the first overseas Chinese democratic parties. Dr. Wang Bingzhang spent the next 20 years of his life organizing and promoting pro-democracy activities in North America and around the world. In 1989, he tried to return to China to support the Tiananmen Square protests, but was denied entry. In 1998, he snack back in to help establish the Chinese Democracy Party, but was arrested and expelled within two weeks. Despite the many challenges and hardships he faced, Dr. Wang toiled relentlessly for the cause he believed in and never gave up his dream for a democratic China with the rule of law.
On June 27, 2002, Dr. Wang traveled to Vietnam to meet people he believed were Chinese labor activists, along with two travel companions. All three were kidnapped and brought to China by boat. They were then left in a Buddhist temple to be “rescued” and then detained by Chinese authorities. During this time, the Chinese government denied having any information about his whereabouts, only to reverse their claim 6 months later, admitting that Dr. Wang had been in its custody since July 3, 2002.
Dr. Wang was tried in secret on January 22, 2003 by the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in Guangdong Province, and sentenced on February 10, 2003 to life imprisonment. The court found him guilty of various offenses, including passing military secrets to Taiwan and plotting to bomb the Chinese embassy in Thailand. During the trial, Dr. Wang was not allowed to present evidence or call witnesses in his defense. He filed an appeal, which was summarily denied. Later, Dr. Wang’s family obtained significant exonerating evidence, including statements by government officials in both Thailand and Taiwan exonerating Dr. Wang. Dr. Wang’s family also obtained evidence that at least some the evidence cited by the court was fabricated.
Since his imprisonment, Canadian, American and European governments have called for his release. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Amnesty International have also appealed on his behalf. Despite this international support, Dr. Wang remains imprisoned in Shaoguan, Guangdong, China. Not only that, he has been placed in solitary confinement, likely because authorities fear his potential influence among fellow inmates.
During the 19 years that Dr. Wang has been in solitary confinement, both his physical and mental health have deteriorated. He suffers from phlebitis, hay fever, gastrointestinal disease, and has had three stokes. The psychological strain of solitary confinement results in bouts of depression. Both his parents have passed away during his confinement. His sentence permits one family visitation a month, each lasting about half an hour. These visits are monitored by several prison guards and are conducted in visitation booths so that Dr. Wang and his family can only communicate by telephone through soundproof glass.
Chinese Democracy & Human Rights Alliance (CDHRA) for outstanding Chinese democracy movement leader Dr. Wang Bingzhang’s 20th year in China’s Jail.