Editor’s Note: Dear Reader, if you could share this interview on social media, by email, etc., it might be helpful in securing Ding Jiaxi’s release.
by Emrys Westacott
After several weeks of sheltering in place, being holed up in quarantine, or just experiencing a dramatically restricted mode of living due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, it is quite natural to start feeling a little sorry for oneself. A wholesome remedy for such feelings is to think about other people who are also shut up, sometimes extremely isolated, and suffering much more serious kinds of deprivation. They do not have at their fingertips, thanks to the internet, an abundance of literature, music, film, drama, science, social science, news, sport, or funny cat videos. Nor are they casualties of fortune, shipwrecked and marooned by bad luck or the vicissitudes of market economies. Rather, they are the victims of deliberate and unjust oppression by authoritarian governments.
One such person is Ding Jiaxi.
By any standards, Ding is a remarkable individual. Born in 1967 in a remote village in the mountains of Hubei province in central China, he won admission to Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, one of the top institutions for engineering research in the country. After graduation he conducted research in aircraft engineering, and while doing this simultaneously studied law and passed the bar exam. In 1997 he decided to switch careers and began working as a lawyer. In 2003, with a few partners he started a law firm that under his direction became highly successful over the next ten years, eventually bringing in an annual income of 25 million RMB. Read more »