Wu'erkaixi (Uyghur: ئۆركەش دۆلەت; Chinese: 吾尔开希; born 17 February 1968) is a Uyghur student who led the Tiananmen protests of 1989. He was born in Beijing, with the origin of Yili, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Uyghur ethnicity. He achieved prominence while studying at Beijing Normal University as a hunger striker who rebuked Chinese Premier Li Peng on national television. He now resides in Taiwan as a political commentator.
Protests and discussions 
Wu'erkaixi arrived on scene in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in mid April 1989, very beginning of the student movement, after he founded an independent student's association at Beijing Normal University. He quickly emerged as one of the most outspoken student leaders as the size of crowds increased. According to Eddie Cheng, at a hastily convened meeting to form the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation and elect its leader, Zhou Yongjun of the University of Political Science and Law narrowly defeated Wu'erkaixi to be its first president. After organizing the most successful demonstration of the 1989 movement on April 27, he was then elected as the president of the Autonomous Union.
Upon meeting Premier Li Peng for the first time in May 1989, in an encounter recorded on national television, Wu'erkaixi interrupted Li during his introduction, saying "I understand it is quite rude of me to interrupt you, Premier, but there are people sitting out there in the square, being hungry, as we sit here and exchange pleasantries. We are only here to discuss concrete matters, sir." After being interrupted by Li, who said that he was being somewhat impolite, Wu'erkaixi continued. "Sir, you said you are here late [because of traffic congestion]... we've actually been calling you to talk to us since 22 April. It's not that you are late, it's that you're here too late. But that's fine. It's good that you are able to come here at all..."
After the protests, Wu'erkaixi was put on China's list of people most wanted for the demonstrations. He fled to France through Hong Kong under the aegis of Operation Yellowbird, and then studied at Harvard University in the United States. After one years of study there, he move to San Francisco bay area and continued his study at Dominican University. Afterward he emigrated to Taiwan, where he has started a family. He was a talk show host for a local radio station from 1998 to 2001.
He also appears frequently on television programs as a political commentator. His stand points has been defending the growing democracy in the island, and promoting civil society. Because of his strong criticism toward the DPP, he was seen as a "Pan Blue" supporter. He has also been reported as a "reunificationist" who supports the idea of "One China Under Democracy" (that is, the reunification of mainland China and Taiwan under a democratic political system, which has been touted by the Pan-Blue Coalition in the past).
He has written many articles in Chinese and English and was published by prominent media including the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian and Far Eastern Economic Review. His essay "China Mocks the Spirits of the Olympics" has won the Human Rights Press Awards Special Merit Award.
He has worked as CEO of an internet Chinese article digest and portal company; served as vice general manager of an internet based broadcasting company; COO of an internet incubation company; and co-founder of a multi-media management software company. In 2006, he was recruited by an international investment fund to run their Taiwan based Asia Pacific operation for his high tech corporate finance background.
After 20 years, he is still the second most wanted person in mainland China for his role at Tiananmen. On 3 June 2009, he arrived in Macao on transit to mainland China intending to surrender and clear his name in court. The Macao authorities refused to arrest him and had him deported to Taiwan.
In 2009, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou praised the progress on human rights in China in his comment on the 20th anniversary of the Tian'anmen incident of 1989. Wu'erkaixi criticized the comment of Ma, saying that he could not understand what progress on human rights Ma meant.
On June 4, 2010, he was arrested by the Japanese police in Tokyo, when he tried to force his way into the Chinese Embassy in order to turn himself in. He was released two days later without charge.[dead link]
On May 2012, he tried to turn himself in the third time to Chinese embassy in Washington DC, where the Chinese embassy decide to ignore him completely.
- Standoff at Tiananmen Square. Sensys Corp; 1st edition. 16 March 2009. ISBN 0-9823203-0-2.
- Xinwenlianbo CCTV1, 18 May 1989. Chinese text available on Chinese Wikipedia.
- "Witnessing Tiananmen: Student talks fail". BBC News. 28 May 2004.
- Wong, Natalie (12 July 2011) "Let down by self-centered Chai Ling". The Standard
- Tyler Marshall (15 January 2004). "Activist Hopes to Return to China". Los Angeles Times.
- Deborah Kuo (4 June 2009). "Tiananmen student leader vows to try again to return to China".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Wu'erkaixi|
- Wu'erkaixi's blog (English) and some (Chinese)
- Witnessing Tiananmen: Student talks fail - BBC interview