Huang majored in journalism at the National Chengchi University in Taipei and then served in the military for two years. In 1964, he applied to the graduate program in Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and studied there before transferring to a Ph.D. program at Cornell University, in 1968. In April 1970, along with other Taiwanese students and members of the World United Formosans for Independence, Huang was involved in the attempted assassination of then Vice Premier Chiang Ching-kuo (Chiang Kai-shek's son) in New York City. He approached Chiang with a gun at the Plaza Hotel, but a Diplomatic Security Service special agent pushed him out of the way, causing the bullet to strike the hotel's revolving doors. He was found guilty, by a jury, of attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm, but was granted bail before sentencing, and fled out of the United States. Huang's action is considered a stimulus for political reform in Taiwan which promotes Taiwanese people's role in the political arena.citation required He left Taiwan for 25 years, returning in 1996 as one of the last persons who had not been permitted to return to Taiwan for political reasons.citation required
In 1998, Huang became the director of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights. In 2000, he was appointed as National Policy Advisor to the President for human rights issues. He is also an avid supporter of the Green Party Taiwan since its founding. In 2012, he was given an Alumni Excellence Award by the National Chengchi University for his lifelong endeavor for democracy, freedom, and social movements.
- Attempt to Assassinate Chiang Chingkuo "Human rights activist named NCCU distinguished alumnus". Preparatory Office of the Department of International Information Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan). 18 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Hsueh Huayuan (2011). "Attempt to Assassinate Chiang Chingkuo". Council for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Deputy speaker’s remarks on rights activist spark ire". The Taipei Times. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Terrorist Organization Profile: World United Formosans for Independence". National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. University of Maryland. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
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