The Endless Purge: Reassessing June 4 1989

June 4 1989 demonstrations at the Monument To The Peoples

The purge that followed the killings by PLA soldiers in and around Tiananmen Square three decades ago has continued into the present, even permeating Western academia. A host of new sources, including leaked diaries by Chinese leaders, have emerged in recent years, but few Western scholars appear willing to break the taboo surrounding June 4. The jailing this month of nine Hong Kongers, for as much as ten months, for taking part in a banned Tiananmen vigil indicates how the purge is spreading to Hong Kong, where police raided the Tiananmen Massacre museum, confiscating exhibits as evidence. Against that backdrop, Louisa speaks to Simon Fraser University's Jeremy Brown, whose recent book June Fourth: The Tiananmen Protests and the Beijing Massacre reframes the events of 1989, shifting the focus from elites and students to ordinary people. This is a recording of a live conversation that was hosted by Harvard University’s Fairbank Centre for Chinese Studies.

Image credit: Holly Angell

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