Yang Jianli

President, Initiatives for China


Chinese dissident, co-author of a Democratic Constitution for China, President of Initiatives for China and Member of the Forum 2000 Foundation Program Council, Mr. Yang witnessed the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and subsequently escaped to the United States. In 2002, when he returned to China to help the labor movement with non-violent struggle strategies, he was arrested and sentenced to five years imprisonment for “spying.” He was released in 2007. Mr. Yang is a signatory of the Charter 08, a manifesto of Chinese intellectuals calling for political reform in China. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley as well as a Ph.D. in Political Economy from Harvard University.