Philosopher, Deceased Person
1923 – 2003
Who was Li Shenzhi?
Li Zhenzhi was a prominent Chinese social scientist and public intellectual. Long a trusted spokesperson of the Chinese Communist Party, he rose to become Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Dismissed from this position for blunt criticisms of the regime, he emerged in the 1990s as a powerful critic of authoritarianism, and a prominent exponent of Chinese liberalism. His death in 2003, which had been preceded by a series of widely circulated professions of his liberal commitment, prompted an outpouring of adulatory writings, securing his posthumous status as a champion of intellectual freedom under difficult circumstances.