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Pro-democracy Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi dies in US at 76

Washington, Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 8 (ANI): Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi, whose speeches were a key inspiration for the country's pro-democracy movement in the 1980s, has died in the United States at the age of 76.

Lizhi, once China's leading astrophysicist, was expelled from the Communist Party in 1987, after being accused of stirring up unrest.

He publicly supported the Tiananmen Square protests but played no public part in them.

After the crackdown at Tiananmen by the Chinese authorities, Fang and his wife took refuge in the US embassy for a year, The BBC reports.

In the 1980s Fang became vice-president of the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, and was quoted as telling a student gathering that 'democracy was from the bottom-up, not the top-down'.

According to the report, he said of the Chinese Communist party, 'Marxism is like a worn dress that must be put aside.' (ANI)

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