04 June 2009
20 years on, how much has changed?
Today is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square "incident". Naturally the media, the non-Chinese media that is, has commented on the occasion.
This morning Stephen McDonell reported live from the Square for ABC Radio's AM.
For a video showing how the Chinese authorities muzzled the international media check out this Al Jazeera report.
I visited Tiananmen Square in late 1997. Apart from being impressed with its size I remember thinking how calm everything looked. Perhaps it was the tourists, perhaps the lack of a visible security presence, perhaps the presence of souvenir vendors (from one of whom I bought the kite in the photo above) which made the place look much like so many other global tourist focal points (Trafalgar Square minus Nelson's Column came to mind). Maybe I was just beguiled by the hospitality and friendliness of the people I met. I don't remember asking any questions about 1989. Probably I was content to be the quintessential innocent abroad who believed that because I saw no signs of dissent that all was, if not well, at least on the mend....