China Macro Reporter
1. ‘Tiananmen divides PRC history into before and after’

<table class="nl_card"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption">FT</p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><strong>‘The Tiananmen event</strong> divides the PRC history into before and after.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘And what's before?</strong>  The people still trusted the Communist party.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘There were a million people</strong> on the streets just enjoying freedom of speech.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘They didn’t think</strong> the Party and the Chinese government would send the tanks and shoot them.’</li><li><strong>‘This</strong> was before.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘But after that event</strong> that trust has been broken.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The enduring legacy</strong> of Tiananmen is a fundamental deficit of trust.’</li><li><strong>‘And</strong> that hurts.’</li></ul><p><em>Bao Pu, son of Bao Tong, a senior official who was imprisoned because of his support for the students, in the FT video </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>‘Tiananmen Square: China 30 years on.’</em></a></p></td></tr></tbody></table>

2. The 30-year detour: The path from Tiananmen to Xi Jinping

<table class="nl_card"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><a href="" target="_blank"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></a></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption">Minxin Pei | Claremont McKenna College</p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><strong>‘Looking back,</strong> it is clear that the Tiananmen tragedy altered the course of Chinese history decisively, foreclosing the possibility of a gradual and peaceful transition to a more liberal and democratic political order,’ writes <strong>Minxin Pei</strong> of the Claremont McKenna College in <a href="" target="_blank">‘The Lasting Tragedy of Tiananmen Square.’</a></p><p><strong>‘It is worth remembering</strong> that the decade before the Tiananmen massacre was filled with a sense of possibility. China had a choice.’</p><ol><li><strong>‘It could revert</strong> to the more orthodox Stalinist – but not Maoist – model that had prevailed in the 1950s, a path favored by the regime’s conservatives.’</li><li><strong>‘It could embrace</strong> gradual reforms to develop a market economy, the rule of law, and a more open political process, as moderate liberals wanted.’</li><li><strong>‘Or it could emulate</strong> Taiwan and South Korea’s neo-authoritarian model by modernizing the economy under one-party rule, as Deng Xiaoping had long advocated.’</li></ol><p><strong>‘These three factions</strong> – conservatives, reformers, and neo-authoritarian modernizers – were in a stalemate before the PLA’s tanks and troops entered the square.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The massacre,</strong> the fall of the Berlin Wall later that year (by sheer coincidence), and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 changed that: <strong><em>Only the neo-authoritarian option remained.’</em></strong></li><li><strong>‘While the political purge</strong> following the Tiananmen crackdown had decimated the liberals, the conservatives – demoralized and panicking after the fall of communism – could offer no viable survival strategy.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘And yet,</strong> the stage had been cleared for the neo-authoritarians.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘By early 1992,</strong> when an 87-year-old Deng embarked on his historic tour of southern China in an effort to save the regime and redeem himself for the crackdown, the neo-authoritarians and the conservatives had merged.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘While no single label </strong>accurately describes the post-1989 order, its defining features were pragmatism, crony capitalism, and strategic restraint.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Pragmatism, in particular,</strong> served the CPC well in the years after Tiananmen.</li><li><strong>‘At home,</strong> a flexible approach to policy allowed the regime to pursue pro-growth experiments, co-opt social elites, and respond to challenges to its authority.’</li><li><strong>‘In foreign policy</strong> ‘Deng’s dictum to keep a “low profile” became the guiding principle.’</li><li><strong>‘The CPC continued to view</strong> the West as an existential ideological threat, which it countered by ceaselessly nurturing nationalist sentiment.’</li><li><strong>‘But China’s leaders</strong> knew that they were free-riding on the liberal international order, and thus studiously avoided any real conflict with the United States.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘For about two decades,</strong> Deng’s survival strategy was wildly successful.’</p><ul><li><strong>'The so-called Chinese economic miracle</strong> boosted the CPC’s legitimacy and soon made China the world’s second-largest economy.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘But that post-Tiananmen order</strong> suffered an abrupt and premature death in late 2012, when Xi Jinping became the CPC’s general secretary.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘By restoring strongman rule,</strong> reviving Leninism, re-imposing authoritarian social control, and, above all, directly challenging the US, Xi has done away with the pragmatism, elite power-sharing, and strategic restraint that defined the post-1989 era.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘In fairness,</strong> though, Deng’s neo-authoritarian model always had fatal flaws that made its demise inevitable.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘Deng’s own aversion</strong> to political reform left the regime bereft of mechanisms to prevent the return of a Mao-like figure.’</li><li><strong>‘In a way,</strong> the CPC simply got lucky with Deng’s two immediate successors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, who were checked by strong rivals and couldn’t revive personalistic rule even if they had wanted to.’</li><li><strong>‘Because economic development</strong> had spawned a virulent form of crony capitalism, most elites presided over murky patronage networks within the regime, and were thus vulnerable to “anti-corruption” purges.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Under Xi,</strong> the political gulf between China and the West has continued to widen, even as economic integration has deepened.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The CPC’s method</strong> of stoking Chinese nationalism to burnish its own legitimacy proved spectacularly effective.’</li><li><strong>‘And its bulging coffers</strong> underwrote the development of a vast repressive apparatus, including the infamous Great Firewall.’</li><li><strong>‘If China had not acquired</strong> so much wealth and power, these other developments might not have mattered.’</li><li><strong>‘But by reverting to hard authoritarianism, </strong>doubling down on state capitalism, and giving free rein to its geopolitical ambitions, the CPC has finally turned the West against China.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘In many ways,</strong> today’s China is starting to resemble that of the 1950s’:</p><ul><li><strong>‘The CPC is led</strong> by a strongman who openly calls on the party “not to forget its original commitment” (<em>buwang chuxin</em>).’</li><li><strong>‘Ideological indoctrination</strong> has returned with a vengeance;’</li><li><strong>‘The US has again</strong> become the enemy, while Russia has re-emerged as a friend.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘After a 30-year detour,</strong> China is headed in the direction that those responsible for the Tiananmen Square crackdown would have wanted.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The country</strong> is in the grip of a hardline Leninist regime that is fortified by a hybrid economy and bent on ruthless repression.’</li><li><strong>‘That is the lasting</strong> tragedy of Tiananmen.’</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

3. ‘The Party has relied on brute force since its inception’

<table class="nl_card"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><a href="" target="_blank"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></a></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption">Brahma Chellaney | Professor, Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research</p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><strong>‘The 30th anniversary</strong> of the Tiananmen Square massacre of at least 10,000 people is significant for several reasons,’ writes <strong>Brahma Chellaney</strong>, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, in <a href="" target="_blank">‘China’s Tiananmen Reckoning.’</a></p><ul><li><strong>‘For one thing,</strong> the deadly assault on student-led demonstrators remains a dark and hidden chapter in China’s communist narrative.’</li><li><strong>‘For another,</strong> the Chinese government’s arbitrary exercise of power against its own citizens has not only continued since the massacre, but has become more methodical, sophisticated, and <a href="" target="_blank">efficient</a>.’</li><li><strong>‘The country’s</strong> internal-security budget now officially <a href="" target="_blank">surpasses</a> its mammoth defense spending.’</li><li><strong>‘Yet at the same time,</strong> this reliance on brute force carries an ominous message for the Communist Party of China (CPC) itself.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘China’s many anniversaries</strong> in 2019 are making this a politically sensitive year.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘The Tiananmen Square</strong> protests in 1989 were inspired by the watershed May 4, 1919, student demonstrations against Western colonialism at the same site.’</li><li><strong>‘But whereas Xi</strong> recently <a href="" target="_blank">extolled</a>the May Fourth Movement in a speech marking the centenary of that event, he and the CPC are <a href="" target="_blank">edgy</a> about the Tiananmen anniversary.’</li><li><strong>‘This year also marks</strong> the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese occupation.’</li><li><strong>‘And it is ten years</strong> since a Uighur revolt killed hundreds in the Xinjiang region, where more than one million Muslims have now been <a href="" target="_blank">incarcerated</a>as part of a Xi-initiated effort to “cleanse” their minds of extremist thoughts.</li><li><strong>‘Then, on October 1,</strong> the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 70th birthday.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The massacre was carried out</strong> because the party has relied on brute force since its inception, including to seize power.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘During the rule of the PRC’s founder,</strong> Mao Zedong, tens of millions died in the so-called Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and other state-engineered disasters.’</li><li><strong>‘Adolf Hitler</strong> was responsible for an estimated11-12 million civilian deaths, and Joseph Stalin for at least six million.’</li><li><strong>‘But Mao,</strong> with some 42.5 million, was the undisputed champion butcher of the twentieth century.’ </li></ul><p><strong>‘The CPC fears</strong> that it could meet the same fate as its Soviet counterpart, especially if it fails to prevent small incidents from spiraling into major defiance of its authority.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘This explains</strong> Xi’s emphasis on enforcing strict Leninist discipline.’</li><li><strong>‘Yet Xi himself</strong> is undermining the CPC by building a cult of personality around his one-man rule and by inviting international pushback through his overemphasis on China’s strength and power.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre</strong> is a reminder that the free ride China has enjoyed internationally over the past 30 years is ending.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘It should also serve as a warning</strong> to the CPC that its continued reliance on brute power to keep China’s citizens in line could eventually leave it on the ash heap of history.’</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

4. Tiananmen: Reporting from ABC World News Tonight 1989

<table class="nl_card"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption">"World News" report from May 19, 1989: People's Army trucks could not reach China's Tiananmen Square because demonstrators block roads.</p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>A terrific 6m 34s video compilation</strong></a> of ABC News reporting on the lead up to and beginning of the Tiananmen massacre.</p><ul><li><strong>Captures events</strong> as they unfolded.</li><li><strong>And the feel</strong> of what we experienced as we watched on TV.</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

5. ‘Assignment: China - Tiananmen Square’

<table class="nl_card"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src=""></iframe></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption">USC U.S.-China Institute</p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>‘Assignment: China - Tiananmen Square’</strong></a><strong> is</strong><strong>a fast-paced</strong> and riveting 1h 30m documentary that ‘tells the behind-the-scenes story of the American reporters who covered the tumultuous events of spring 1989 in Beijing.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘With video footage and still photos,</strong> some never shown before in public.’</li><li><strong>‘And interviews</strong> with journalists who were there, including Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Daniel Southerland of the Washington Post, Dan Rather of CBS, Dorinda Elliott of Newsweek, and many others,’</li></ul><p><strong>‘The documentary</strong> is the an episode in a series on the history of American correspondents in China produced by the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.’</p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Mike Chinoy</strong></a><strong>,</strong> the distinguished former CNN Asia correspondent and USC U.S.-China Institute Senior Fellow, is the writer and reporter for the series.</li></ul><p><strong>My friend and classmate,</strong><a href="" target="_blank">Sheryl WuDunn</a>, and her husband, NYT’s opinion writer, Nick Kristof, were reporters for the <em>New York Times</em> posted in Beijing at the time of Tiananmen.</p><ul><li><strong>They won the Pulitzer Prize</strong> for their reporting on the massacre.</li><li><strong>Here are </strong><a href="®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection" target="_blank"><strong>excerpts</strong></a> of their on-the-ground reporting.</li><li><strong>And, they</strong> are among the journalists speaking about their experiences in <a href="" target="_blank">‘Assignment: China - Tiananmen Square’</a></li></ul><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table>

6. The story behind the ‘Tank Man’ photo

<table class="nl_card"><tbody><tr><td><table class="multi-block"><tbody><tr><td class="bg-holder"><img style="width:100%" src="" alt="CHINADebate"></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr><tr><td class="nl-post"><p class="caption"></p><p class="excerpt"></p><p><strong>On June 4, 1989, </strong>I was visiting Hong Kong from my home in Taipei and on my way to China.</p><ul><li><strong>On that day,</strong> news of the massacre began to come out. Reports said scores of demonstrators had been injured or killed. The number 10,000+ dead was decades away.</li><li><strong>Still, we went to donate blood.</strong> But the line was long. And it appeared that there would be more than enough to cover the casualties. So we left.</li></ul><p><strong>Months ago,</strong> and after many years, I got interested again in the stories surrounding the Tiananmen Massacre.</p><ul><li><strong>What prompted</strong> my interest was <a href="" target="_blank">a terrific Leica commercial</a> - the ‘Hunt’ -that featured a dramatic, if somewhat fictionalized, version of how the Tank Man photo was taken.</li><li><strong>If you watch The Hunt, </strong>pay attention to the lens in the last scene, and you’ll see the Tank Man reflected in the lens. (I missed it the first two times.)</li><li><strong>Even though </strong>it wasn’t intended to be shown into China, the ad still went viral on the Chinese Internet - and the government promptly took it down and banned all reference, including searches for ‘Leica.’</li><li><strong>And just as promptly</strong> – to mitigate damage to its China business – Leica disavowed any connection. ‘It was a rogue ad agency in Brazil.’</li><li><strong>The whole saga </strong>is brilliantly laid out in a video on <a href="" target="_blank">‘China Uncensored.’</a></li></ul><p><strong>This led me to wonder about the Tank Man photographer,</strong><strong>Jeff Widener,</strong> and the story behind the photo. I found this, an excerpt from his description of his entire Tiananmen experience:</p><ul><li><strong>‘The sounds of diesel engines</strong> woke me from a sound sleep and I jumped up groggy and grabbed my camera and the 400mm lens.’</li><li><strong>‘I went out to the balcony</strong> and crouched behind the metal railing.’</li><li><strong>‘There was a long line of tanks</strong> approaching from the Square and I thought it might be a nice compression shot.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Then suddenly</strong> a man in a white long sleeved shirt with two shopping bags, walked into the middle of the Chang'an Boulevard directly in front of the tanks.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I complained to Kirk</strong> and said “This guy is going to screw up my composition.”</li><li><strong>‘Kirk yelled</strong> “They are going to kill him!”</li></ul><p><strong>‘My head was still in a daze</strong> [from a concussion] so compared to what I had witnessed over the previous day, a guy standing in front of a row of tanks seemed normal. The unfolding drama was very far away.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I waited</strong> for the instant the man would be shot or run over.’</li><li><strong>‘But nothing happened.’</strong></li><li><strong>‘He unbelievably crawled up</strong> on the tank and I looked back at the bed where my teleconverter was.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘I had to make a quick decision</strong> as to whether to risk getting a closer, clearer image or possibly miss a photo completely.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘I made one</strong> of the biggest gambles in my life and dived for the bed.</li><li><strong>‘I grabbed</strong> the teleconverter.’</li></ul><p><strong>‘Since the next hotel room</strong> wall jutted out, I was partially blocked.’</p><ul><li><strong>‘So I had to risk exposing myself</strong> to gunfire by leaning over the balcony and shooting around the wall.’ </li></ul><p><strong>Jeff describes</strong> this and the rest of his work during Tiananmen <a href="" target="_blank">on his website</a> and in a video interview on <a href="" target="_blank">‘Assignment: China - Tiananmen Square’</a></p><ul><li><strong>And in a great interview</strong> with <a href="" target="_blank">Charlie Rose.</a></li></ul><p><strong>BTW Jeff was nominated </strong>for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography, but didn’t win.</p><ul><li><strong>The winner</strong> was the Photo Staff of <em>The Tribune,</em> Oakland, CA for photographs of devastation caused by the Bay Area earthquake of October 17, 1989.’</li><li><strong>Also BTW,</strong> Jeff was apparently using a Nikon, not a Leica.</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>