Today, Senators Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), James M. Inhofe (R-OK), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John S. McCain (R-AZ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a resolution honoring the late Fang Lizhi, a Chinese dissident who passed away at his home in Tucson, Arizona on April 6, 2012.
Professor Fang was a distinguished astrophysicist and university administrator who worked to introduce democratic reforms and academic freedoms on his campus during the 1980s. After his writings helped inspire the 1989 pro-democracy protests, Fang and his wife Li Shuxian were accused of treason by the Chinese government in the wake of the Tiananmen Massacre of June 4, 1989. After being sheltered at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for more than a year, Fang and Li left China, and he spent the latter years of his life at the University of Arizona, where he continued his research and called for democratic reforms in China.
"It is appropriate that on a day when we remember the young men and women who lost their lives during the Tiananmen Massacre, we should also honor Fang Lizhi, whose writings helped give voice to their yearning for democracy," the senators said. "As Professor Fang wrote more than twenty years ago, the future of political reform in China remains in the hands of the countless Chinese who stand up every day to demand their rights, and we stand in solidarity with them."