Sitting in an office on the 55th floor of Taipei 101, Taiwan's signature skyscraper, Wuerkaixi admits he has probably been the luckiest of all the exiled student leaders. 'As an exile, I'm fortunate that I can feel a sense of belonging in Taiwan,' he said. 'I have raised a family here, and that has helped me avoid the bitterness many of my other friends in exile feel.' Wuerkaixi, 41, is a Uygur from Xinjiang's Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture. In 1989, he was a student at Beijing Normal University and shot to fame when China Central Television showed him rebuking then premier Li Peng. After the crackdown he fled to France and the US, where he studied at Harvard. In 1994, he married Chen Hui-ling, a Taiwan native, and in 1996 he moved to Taipei and became a Taiwan citizen. The couple have two children. Wuerkaixi said he was excited to read former party chief Zhao Ziyang advocate a parliamentary democratic system in his recently released memoir. 'I think the suitability of democracy has once again been debated following the publication of this book,' he said. 'More and more social problems have sprung up in China since the global economic slowdown due to the lack of political reform 20 years ago, which resulted in an unfair legal system and a huge gap between rich and poor.' Now a managing partner of a US investment bank, Wuerkaixi says the mainland can learn a lot from Taiwan. 'I have learned and experienced democracy over the past 20 years in exile, especially in Taiwan, where freedom, tolerance, respect and individual rights are enthroned,' he said. 'I think it's bad for mainland people to criticise Taiwan's democracy because I believe all Chinese communities should be proud of Taiwan's achievement.'