Li Fan is the Founder and Director of the World and China Institute and the Editor in Chief of the journal World and China Affairs. He graduated from Peking University with a degree in History in 1981. He holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Ohio State University, where he also studied Sociology from 1984 to 1989.

From 1981 to 1984, as an Assistant Research Fellow, he worked at the Institute of Political Science of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. From 1989 to 1993, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the China International Study Center of China’s State Council.

Established in 1993 in Beijing, the World and China Institute (WCI), is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit research institute dedicated to the mutual understanding of the world and China. WCI focuses on political reform in China, including electoral reform, governance reform, and civil society development and public policy. In 1998, Li Fan helped design and execute China’s first direct election of a township head, in Buyun township, Sichuan province.

He has authored and edited more than 50 books, including Wind from the South: The Impact of Hong Kong and Taiwan on the Mainland’s Reform and Silent Revolution—Becoming Civil Society in China.

Last Updated: July 2, 2020



It’s True That Democracy in China Is in Retreat, But Don’t Give up on It Now

Li Fan
China’s popularity in the world is plummeting, and antagonism between China and the United States is growing. Many blame China for allowing a series of new viruses to emerge, for failing to stop COVID-19 when it first appeared, and for not sharing...