Name: Bao Tong
Date of birth: 06-11-1932
Type of business: Chinese Activist
Main achievements: A Chinese writer and an activist. He was the former CPC high-rank official. Bao was the Former general secretary of the communist party of China. He was also the policy secretary of Zhao Ziyang.
Something interesting about the person: An interesting fact about Bao tong is that he and his wife were attacked by authorities and were injured. This happened when they left their house to attend the memorial of their mentor Zhao Ziyang. He pinned a white flower to his shirt, which is a traditional symbol in China for mourning, which the authorities wanted him to remove.
Bao Tong is a writer and a Chinese activist. He was born in Haining city of province Zhejiang. His parents later left the city and migrated to Shanghai where Bao Tong grew up. However, Bao currently lives with his wife Jiang ZongCao and two children Bao Jian and Bao Pu. Bao’s father was a local factory worker. Bao developed his interest in politics and wanted to join politics from a very early age. His interest was developed through his uncles, who were known intellectuals. Bao got his early education from a school in Shanghai where he met Jiang who later became his wife. It was Jiang who wanted Bao to join the Chinese Communist Party and later he joined the party in 1949. It was the same year when the Chinese Communist Party took state control which started a civil war between Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party.
Bao Tong was the Communist Party of China’s central committee’s Director of the Office of political reforms. From 1987 to 1989, Bao Tong also became the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. Bao Tong from 1980 to 1987 was also the former policy secretary of Zhao Ziyang, who was the vice-chairman of CPC and later became the Prime Minister of China. He was also the 13th Party congress’s drafting committee’s Director.
Bao was always known for his strong opinions. He was a big supporter of Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms and its opening. Bao Tong has also been the former Deputy Director and committee member of the Chinese state commission for economic Reform. From November 1987 till May 1989, Bao Tong has also been the Politburo standing committee’s political secretary.
Bao was arrested on 28th May 1989 in Beijing as he was Zhao Ziyang’s close associate. Bao Tong was also the person who wrote Zhao Ziyang’s speeches. In the speeches which Bao wrote, he openly supported the student movement’s legal and democratic approach. It was then Bao was arrested officially on the charges of doing counter-revolutionary propaganda and also revealing the secrets of the state. Bao was the only government official who was arrested for the movement in 1989 in Tiananmen Square. However, Bao was sentenced to seven years imprisonment through his public conviction in a brief show in 1992. He was also deprived of his political rights for two years. Bao Tong served his imprisonment in Quincheng Prison in complete isolation.
Bao Tong was released on May 27, 1996, after serving his full sentence in prison. After release from prison, Bao was held and kept for another year at a government compound in Xishan. He was kept there until his family agreed that they would leave their apartment and move out to an apartment given to them by the government authorities. He was kept under surveillance by the government for 24/7. Even his phone was tapped, and the visitors who came were screened.
Despite the strict surveillance by the authorities, Bao Tong did not bow down in front of anyone. He continued to speak his mind out on many political issues. He spoke on many controversial issues to the foreign press such as systemic corruption in china, the Dalai Lama, the legacy of the Tiananmen crackdown, and Chinese authoritarianism.
Bao Tang was also one of the Charter 08 manifesto’s original signatories.