Wang Tiancheng, a friend and colleague of Hu Shigen, was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in 2009. Mr. Wang earned his B.A. from Hunan Normal University and his law degree from Peking University, where he served as lecturer in law.
He was active in the 1989 prodemocracy movement, helped found an independent political party, the Liberal and Democratic Party of China, and was involved in the Free Labour Union of China. He was detained in 1992 and charged with “actively taking part in a counter-revolutionary group” and “carrying out counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement.” He was sentenced to a five-year prison term.
Mr. Wang has published influential and prize-winning papers on the rule of law and constitutionalism in China. These include “The Backbones of the Constitution,” writen before his detention, and two papers dealing with republicanism and constitutionalism, “On Republic” and “A Second Treatise on Republic,” both conceived in prison but written after his release. He has also called publicly for a reconsideration of government policies on Tibet, most prominently in his article “Federalism: the Best Solution to the Tibet Issue.”