The Students asked me what
to do next. I want to tell them that we expect a massacre, which would spill
blood like a river through Tian An Men Square, to awaken the people. But how
could I tell them this? How could I tell them that their lives would have to
be sacrificed in order to win?....I love the kids out there so much. But I feel
so helpless. How can I change the world? I am only one person. I never wanted
power....We should not kill each other anymore!
-Chai Ling to Philip Cunningham, May 28, 1989
The Tian An Men rebels wanted to get away from the highly structured hierarchy of communist China, a place where those higher up got meat, while the masses lived on rice. Ironically, the Tian An Men Square student dissidents built a hierarchy for themselves. Chai Ling, a 23-year-old child psychology student at Beijing University was elected Chief Commander of the Tian An Men Square Committee. Chai Ling had always stood out from the crowd. At sixteen she was named one of the two hundred most outstanding students in China and at Beijing University she was the president of the student government
After the June 4 massacre, she traveled around the China countryside in disguise. Eventually, in the spring of 1990, she was able to escape to Hong Kong in a shipping crate--a trip that took four days and five nights. From there she proceeded to France, then finally settled in America.
In America, she earned her Masters Degree at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, worked for three years at Bain and Co., and then attended Harvard Business school. She built up her management skills and understanding of capitalist society, working as CEO of Jenzabar.com (from its founding in 1998 to the present), with the hope that she might someday be able to return to China and help build up its economy.
After the events at Tian An Men Square, Chai has been nominated for two Nobel Peace Prizes. She remains active as spokeswoman for the Chinese Democracy Movement since 1990.
An article written by Chai Ling about her company, Jenzabar
Chai's arrest warrant, which was broadcast on June 5