Skip to content Skip to navigation

About Guo Quan

November 16, 2011

Photo courtesy of the family

Guo Quan (郭泉), born in 1968, was raised in a revolutionary family: relatives in his parents’ generation were all members in the Communist Party of China (CPC). From a young age, he displayed a love of learning and had broad interests. After entering the work force, he continued to pursue his education and was admitted as a graduate student at Nanjing University, where he earned a Master’s degree in legal studies, and a doctorate degree in philosophy.

In 1990, after graduating from vocational college, he declined a position at the Jiangsu Provincial Public Security Department. Through open recruitment, Guo became a secretary of the Nanjing Municipal Economic Reform Committee, and editor of the magazine Reform and Openning [sic]. During his graduate studies, also through open recruitment, he worked as a judicial officer in the criminal division of Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court.

In 2001, Guo became an associate professor and a supervisor of master’s students at Nanjing Normal University. That same year, he joined the Chinese Democratic League—one of China’s eight state-approved “democratic” parties. Later, because of his open letters that criticized the government, he was stripped of his associate professorship and made a data management officer at the university library.

An industrious thinker and writer, Guo is the author of such books such as the Study of the Buddhist Idea of Harmony in Sui and Tang Dynasty, and Freedom and Literature. As a citizen concerned with public issues, he initiated the “Defend Diaoyu [Senkaku] Islands” boycott against Japanese goods and was frequently summoned by Chinese authorities. Guo also called for government reform, called for multi-party democratic elections, and wrote Forecast of Democracy, a collection of 347 articles. He was also active in rights defense campaigns and spoke out openly for victims of the Sichuan earthquake.

In 2007, Guo began calling for a multi-party system, a nationalized military and other reforms in a series of open letters to top government leaders. In December that year, he formally announced on the Internet that an opposition party he had founded three years earlier, the China People’s Livelihood Party, has been renamed as the “New People’s Party of China.” This act angered the government authorities. Guo was subsequently arrested, and was convicted of “subversion of state power” in October 2009, He was sentenced to ten years in prison and is serving his sentence at Pukou Prison in Nanjing.

Guo believes that many people in China do have ideals, but that ideals must be accompanied by action. He thinks he is the most audacious—for daring to speak out and to take action—possessing an audacity that is born of ideals.

Explore Topics

709 Crackdown Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention All about law Arbitrary Detention
Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship
Charter 08 Children Chinese Law Circumvention technology Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists
Citizen Participation Civil Society Commentary Communist Party Of China Constitution Consumer Safety
Contending views Corruption Counterterrorism Courageous Voices Cultural Revolution Culture Matters
Current affairs Cyber Security Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents
Education Elections Enforced Disappearance Environment Ethnic Minorities EU-China
Family Planning Farmers Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression Freedom of Press Freedom of Religion
Government Accountability Government regulation Government transparency Hong Kong House Arrest HRIC Translation
Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights developments Illegal Search And Detention Inciting Subversion Of State Power Information Control 
Information technology Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Human Rights International perspective International Relations
Internet Internet Governance JIansanjiang lawyers' rights defense Judicial Reform June Fourth Kidnapping
Labor Camps Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers Legal System
Letters from the Mainland Major Event (Environment, Food Safety, Accident, etc.) Mao Zedong Microblogs (Weibo) National People's Congress (NPC) New Citizens Movement
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Olympics One country, two systems Online Activism Open Government Information Personal stories
Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience Probing history
Propaganda Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Public Security Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor
Rights Defenders Rights Defense Rule Of Law Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Special Topic State compensation
State Secrets State Security Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Technology Thoughts/Theories
Tiananmen Mothers Tibet Torture Typical cases United Nations US-China 
Uyghurs, Uighurs Vulnerable Groups Women Youth Youth Perspective