Senior Sociology Scholar and Democracy Promoter Passes Away
Peking University, Jan. 10, 2011: Lei Jieqiong, a professor of Yenching University (1931-37, 1946-52) and of Peking University (1973- ), passed away in Beijing on Sunday at the age of 106.
Lei, with a master's degree from the University of Southern California, was an eminent law and sociology scholar, and educator.
Prof. Lei Jieqiong (1905-2011) (File photo/Xinhua)
Born in the southern city of Guangzhou in 1905, Prof. Lei Jieqiong was widely known as a founder and former leader of the China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD).
She was among the 11 public figures (including two students) sent to Nanjing, then Chinese capital, in June 1946 by the Shanghai Union of People's Associations to petition the Kuomintang (KMT) authorities not to start a civil war, according to a biographical entry of Lei.
Prof. Lei's devotion to the nation's liberty and progress could be dated back to the 1930s, when she just returned to China completing her graduate studies in the US. She was a vangard in opposing the Japanese invasion of north China and then KMT regime's lack of resistance, launching the patriotic "December 9th Movement" with her students in 1935. She left the position of Yenching professor for grassroots anti-Japanese movements and women's training after 1937.
Prof. Lei and another renowned sociologist, Fei Xiaotong (1910-2005), made significant contributions to resuming the Department of Sociology of PKU after the "Cultural Revolution" (1966-76) - a period when she was transferred to the countryside of Suxian county of east China's Anhui province to work from 1969 to 1972 together with her husband, Yan Jingyao (1905-76). She joined the faculty of Peking University in 1973.
She was chairwoman of the 7th to 9th Central Committee of the CAPD, and honorary president of the 10th and 11th CAPD Central Committee. A close friend of the Communist Party of China, Lei served as vice chairperson of the 6th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and vice chairperson of the standing committees of the 7th and 8th National People's Congress.
Xinhua reported earlier that Prof. Lei was hailed as a "representative" of "the united front and the democratic parties," for her dedication to the nation, the people, and the career.
Edited by: Jacques