After 14 years, Wei was released - and was arrested again after six months. The beatings continued. Almost all of his teeth fell out. He had high blood pressure, heart problems and arthritis, but was not allowed medication. He went on a hunger strike for a heater. Still he did not give up.
Finally, in 1997, China sent Wei to the United States. However, his release was not freedom, but exile from the country he loved in return for economic concessions. Still he does not give up. To this day, Chinese activists fighting for democracy still rally around his writings, while he lectures and lobbies for their human rights.
The man who has been called the "Chinese Mandela" did more than cope with the world that found him. He conquered it, both in fact and in spirit. When Wei posted his essay, he had no idea of the destiny that awaited him. Fortunately for the world, the strength of his vision gave him the courage and drive to rise to the challenge.