Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of Chinese citizens who had gathered at Tiananmen Square to protest government policies. The New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof was there and recalls his memories of the event in today’s paper (“The Turning Point That Wasn’t”). I highly recommend watching Krisof’s video and his interview with Natalie Kitroeff. There is also another great article on the topic in today’s The New York Times (“Tiananmen Square: Forgotten”). This article explains how the event has been largely forgotten in China.
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New Yorker interview with Pulitzer Prize winning team member Evan Osnos whom has lived and wrote in China for 8 years.
OSNOS: “Yeah, I’ve thought a lot about it. I used to live in Egypt before I moved to China. And in a way, I guess, I look at China, and I’m reminded of the fact that in 1989 when these protests happened, you know, the country was so close to the experience of poverty and the experience of political turmoil during the cultural revolution – and I think that really was an enormous ingredient because what the government said in putting down these protests was not simply that we had to do this in order to protect the Communist Party. But what they said to the public in China was, if we did not put these down, all of you will go back to the turmoil that defined the first 30 years of the People’s Republic. And none of you want that.
And that message was incredibly powerful. And I’ll meet young people in China today who will still say that. They say, had, you know – what they’ll say is, I admire the courage of that young man who stood in front of the tank. But I’m glad that he failed because if he had not failed, then I wouldn’t be sitting here with the opportunities that I have. That’s what they’ve been educated to believe, and, for many of them, they have believed it.”