Summary Biography of Xu Zhiyong


Summary Biography of Xu Zhiyong

1973  Xu is born in Minquan County, Henan Province.

1984-90 Graduated from Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Minquan County.

1990  Enters college in the Law Department of Lanzhou University, Gansu Province.

Summer 91 Single-handedly resolves armed dispute in a village on Henan-Shandong border.

1994  Earns LL.B. from Lanzhou University

7/94 – 9/95 Interns at Bingxiong Group, and other companies

1995  Enters Master's degree program in Law Department of Lanzhou University  

1998  Earns LL.M. from Lanzhou University

7/98 – 9/99 Interns at Southern Weekend; engages in rural education

1999  Enters Doctoral program in Peking University Law School

2002  Earns LL.D. from Peking University

5/02 – 8/02  Offers legal aid to group of petitioners in rural edition of China Reform magazine.

7/02  Promoted to Lecturer at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications

7/02 – 1/03 Promoted to Director of rural edition of China Reform magazine.


5/03 After the Sun Zhigang incident [involving the beating death of college graduate held in police detention as a vagrant], as one of the "three PhD's" along with Teng Biao and Yu Jiang, submits a citizen proposal to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress requesting constitutional review of "Measures for the Custody & Repatriation of Migrants & Beggars in Cities."

6/03 State Council abolishes the custody and repatriation "Measures" in response to public pressure.

7/03  Defends entrepreneur Sun Dawu, who is accused of stealing public funds.

10/03  Sun is sentenced to a suspended sentence and is released.

10/03 With Zhang Xingshui, Yu Jiang and Teng Biao, establishes Sunshine Constitutional Social Science Research Center, later registered as Gongmeng.

11/03  Elected to Haidian People's Congress (Beijing) as independent candidate.

12/03  Selected as one of CCTV's Inaugural "Top 10 Persons in Rule of Law."

12/03   Wins "social achievement award" from the Gleitsman Foundation.

12/03 Wins "public interest" social conscience award from Southern Window magazine.

2004 Represents Chen Guoqing and three other defendants in a case where they have been sentenced to death five times [despite clear evidence of actual innocence].

1/04 As Haidian District Representative, raises concerns about budget report of Haidian District Department of Finance, forcing Dep't to revise their report, and correctly enumerate specific items.

2/04  Defends Yu Huafeng, general manager of Southern Metropolis Daily.

5/04 With support of other People's Congress Representatives, establishes a People's Congress Standing Committee Supervisory Group, to ensure that every meeting of the Standing Committee has at least two ordinary representatives as supervisors.

Summer 04 Hosts the Gongmeng forum, "We are Representatives of the People."

7 – 12/04 Researches American presidential elections while a visiting scholar at Yale Law School

9/04 After Yitahutu website is closed down [a popular, freewheeling discussion board for Peking University students], writes an open letter with Yu Jiang and Teng Biao.

2005 Directs research on petitioning and writes report on Chinese petitioning.  Xu continues this research throughout 2005. During Xu's research, he is beaten multiple times by "interceptors" (thugs hired to capture petitioners).  After raising society's awareness of interceptors, the beatings subside in May.

5/05 Establishes his own office as local congress representative, meeting with constituents every Thursday afternoon

6/05 With five other representatives of the Haidian District People's Congress, he co-authors a letter to the Standing Committee of the Haidian People's Congress, proposing a hearing to discuss preservation of the Old Summer Palace.

Summer 05 Participates in the North Shaanxi oil fields case to assist Lawyer Zhu Jiuhu [case involving property takings from small oil producers].

12/05  Selected as one of fourteen "Chinese Rights Lawyers" by Asia Weekly

2005-06 Focuses on the Linyi (Shandong) abuses in enforcing one-child policy, defends blind rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

2006 Directs legislative proposals for revising the "Beijing Regulations on Raising Pet Dogs."

12/06  Reelected as independent candidate for Haidian District People's Congress.

12/06  Selected by Southern People Weekly as one of 10 Top Youth Leaders.

2007  As Haidian People's Congress representative, helped owners of Boya Deyuan Apartments halt a nearby construction project that would have disrupted their environment.

Directs and helps write the "Research Report on the Ratification and Implementation of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights."

Responsible for Project entitled "Beijing Hukou Reform and System to Accommodate New Migrants" [on reform of China's household registration system and distinctions between rural and urban citizens].

8/07 Assists "black kiln" workers [slave laborers forced to work in illegal brick manufacturing facilities] Chen Xiaojun and Pang Fenghu bring an administrative lawsuit seeking national compensation.

2008 Concerned about black jails [informal detention facilities used by local government officials to detain petitioners in Beijing prior to sending them back to their home provinces], visits several in Beijing, helps rescue petitioners.

Participates in China-India Youth Exchange Program, visiting India and the U.S.

Assists lawyers in promoting election reform for the leadership of the Beijing Lawyers' Association.

Selected as "One of the 120 Representative Persons Influencing Social Progress in 30 Years of Reform and Development."

11/08 Special Interview, "Walking the Way of Justice: Xu Zhiyong," in Economic Observer Newspaper.

2008-09 Provides legal assistance to victims of melamine-tainted milk powder.

2009  Defends citizen Huang Yong, who was arrested for publishing his criticism of

     the government's policy on raising pet dogs.

Offers legal assistance and writes an appeal on behalf of Yao Jing, a petitioner beaten and seriously injured in Beijing.

     Completes "Handbook on Protecting Citizens' Rights."

Begins work on issues related to the education rights of students without Beijing hukou [household registration].

5/09  Directs Gongmeng's First Legal Knowledge Training workshop.

7/29/09 Placed in criminal detention by public security officials.