Media Talk: China 20 years after Tiananmen

Talk Monday 1st June, 2009

After seven weeks of nationwide demonstrations and protests the Chinese authorities unleashed a violent suppression on 4 June, sending in tanks to Tiananmen Square to clear protestors .
The official death toll according to the Chinese government was 200 to 300, but the figures claimed by the Chinese student associations and the Chinese Red Cross were much higher . Thousands of people were jailed and many fled to escape persecution that followed while the ban on the foreign press meant that coverage was strictly controlled.
Join us for a panel discussion about the impact events of twenty years ago has had on Chinese society and on the Chinese Communist Party’s willingness to embrace reform, and commit to improving human rights and press freedom.
What will the impact be on the country if the Party does not adapt and allow peaceful transformation?


Shirong Chen, China Editor, BBC World Service

Carrie Gracie, presenter for the BBC news channel who was the BBC’s Beijing correspondent until 1999

Journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hilton, who is currently editor of Chinadialogue

Shao Jiang, a PhD student in political science at Westminster University who runs a blog on Amnesty International’s website in support of human rights in China. He was one of the organisers of the peaceful pro-democracy protests who was imprisoned for 18 months and fled to the West after years of harassment.