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photo of protestors in tiananmen squarephoto of burning debrisphoto of a man facing down a tank in 1989

In each of the sections below, the following China specialists and eyewitnesses to the events of spring 1989 in China address some of the major themes in this FRONTLINE report, "The Tank Man":

Nicholas Bequelin, a China researcher for Human Rights Watch; John Pomfret, Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post (1998-2003); Robin Munro, an eyewitness to the 1989 massacre; Orville Schell, China specialist and dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley; Timothy Brook, professor of Chinese history at the University of British Columbia; Jan Wong, former Beijing correspondent for the Toronto Globe and Mail; and Xiao Qiang, director of the Berkeley China Internet Project at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley.

The Legacy of June Fourth
Experts assess the impact of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising and massacre on the Chinese government and people and explain how Tiananmen 1989 set China on a dramatic new course in the years that followed.

The Tank Man
His brave act of defiance captured the imagination of people around the world. Here, China specialists and eyewitnesses recall the moment and its enduring symbolism, and offer their thoughts on what might have become of him.

Attempting to Erase History
Producer Antony Thomas showed the iconic 'tank man' photo to a group of undergraduates at Beijing University - in 1989 the university had been the nerve center of the student movement that inspired the nationwide uprising. None of the students knew what the photo was. Here, journalists and China specialists discuss the government's efforts to keep certain ideas and history from the Chinese people, including the picture and story of 'tank man.'

Can China Stay on the Road It's On?
While China's double-digit growth has transformed its cities and surrounding urban areas, its rural poor have become poorer and much of their support systems such as free or nearly free health care and education have dropped away. Concern about the widening economic gap and the growing unrest in the countryside led the Communist Party government in March 2006 to promise to work to remedy the situation by injecting a further $5 billion into the rural economy over the next twelve months. But this new spending amounts to a little under $7 a head for the 800 million people who still live in rural China.

Eyewitness to Tiananmen Spring
Journalists and China specialists offer vivid accounts of how the events of spring 1989 unfolded, from the first student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that spread throughout China, to the first attempt to send the People's Liberation Army into Beijing, to the final, brutal crackdown of the uprising on the night of June 3-4, 1989.

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posted apr. 11, 2006

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