Feng Chongyi works from a small, cramped office at Sydney’s University of Technology, where he is associate professor in China Studies. Hanging on his wall is a photo of him, in 2006, sitting with top liberals and democrats within the Communist Party’s Central Committee. To his right is Zhu Houze, former head of the Central Propaganda Department, and further over on the left is Li Rui, former political secretary to Mao Zedong. 

In those days, Feng was one of China’s rising stars. He was the first student to be awarded a PhD in contemporary history in China.

Today, he is one of the most outspoken dissidents against the Chinese Communist Party. He has been under surveillance by the Chinese government since 1997 and was detained and interrogated by the secret police in China in 2017.