China bounces back, 30 years after Tiananmen

Left: A demonstrator flashing the victory sign as workmen used a drape to cover a huge portrait of chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Above: An armoured personnel carrier crushing one of the tents set up at Tiananmen Square by pro-democ
A Chinese paramilitary policeman standing guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on April 8 this year. Thirty years after the crackdown on Tiananmen protesters, the tanks that lined Beijing’s central avenue have been replaced by countless surveillance cameras perched like hawks on lamp posts to keep the population in check.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Thirty years ago, in the early hours of June 4, the world watched in shock and horror as tanks rolled into Beijing's main Tiananmen Square and West Changan Avenue and fired on student protesters calling for democracy and freedom. In the first of a two-part special, The Straits Times' China Bureau looks at how the country has moved on since that bloody, fateful day.

After the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, the Soviet Union fell apart on Dec 26, 1991.

Some communist legislators bear-hugged each other in tears at a closed-door meeting, fearing that China would be next, a non-communist retired parliamentarian recalled witnessing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2019, with the headline 'China bounces back, 30 years after Tiananmen'. Print Edition | Subscribe