Online PRC Public Intellectuals’ Rogues Gallery
A nice entry point into the social, political, and economic debates of modern China is the University of Heidelberg Digital Archive of Chinese Studies Fifty Public Intellectuals database offers a nice entry point to the online publications of prominent Chinese intellectuals who have taken public positions on important issues, often to the displeasure of the Chinese government. The list, drawn up by the Nanfang Renwu Zhoukan [Southern Personalities Weekly] in 2004.
From the online introduction to the database:
The “Public Intellectuals” issue was heatedly debated in the Chinese media and on the Internet in fall 2004 and proved to be one of the most contentious topics of the year. The debate was initiated by Nanfang renwu zhoukan (online link to September 8, 2004 issue), a journal belonging to the Nanfang ribao group and run by Nanfang zhoumo, the newspaper renowned for its cutting-edge investigative journalism. In a special issue cover-dated Sept. 8, 2004, Nanfang renwu zhoukan presented a list of fifty intellectuals and public personages it considered essential in shaping public discourse in the PRC (in fact, the list adds up to fifty-six if a “honorary list” is added, the latter comprising the names of six intellectuals deceased in recent years, but whose contributions continue to influence current debates). The list was accompanied by short biographies of each individual, as well as several articles discussing the concept of “public intellectuals.”
The University of Heidelberg website has the full list in English translation.