18.1.13. Yitang Zhang (张益唐, M9athematician, proved the first finite prime gap in 2012)

  • https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/02/pursuit-beauty

    In Kentucky, he became involved with a group interested in Chinese democracy. Its slogan was “Freedom, Democracy, Rule of Law, and Pluralism.” A member of the group, a chemist in a lab, opened a Subway franchise as a means of raising money. “Since Tom was a genius at numbers,” another member of the group told me, “he was invited to help him.” Zhang kept the books. “Sometimes, if it was busy at the store, I helped with the cash register,” Zhang told me recently. “Even I knew how to make the sandwiches, but I didn’t do it so much.” When Zhang wasn’t working, he would go to the library at the University of Kentucky and read journals in algebraic geometry and number theory.



Zhang Jing: You are the oldest member of the China Democracy League. I am very honored to see so many old members of the Democracy League here today. The former chairman Xu Shuiliang is also here, which is rare. My question is, do you still have any interest in China’s democratic movement? Do you have any hopes for the China Democratic League?

Zhang Yitang: First, I am not an early member of the Democratic League, not too early. I joined in 1989; second, as an independent intellectual, my political ideas will not change, and I will not change because of the mainland. Whether you praise me or treat me in any way, my basic philosophy will not change. As for the specific participation, because I haven’t participated in it for a long time now, I don’t think there will be many opportunities to participate in the future.

The democracy group is called 中国民主团结联盟 (Chinese United Democracy Alliance).