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RIZ KHAN
Tiananmen Square: 20 years on
Chinese pro-democracy advocates are refusing to relegate their movement to history.
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2009 08:22 GMT

Watch part two 

Two decades ago, as the world watched, thousands of Chinese students gathered in the iconic Tiananmen Square for weeks demanding democracy.

As far as the Chinese government was concerned, the protesters were unruly mobs rebelling against law and order.

The students and their supporters were violently removed by the military on June 4, 1989.

Now, 20 years later, there is still no consensus on how many people died. One government count puts the toll at 241 dead and 7,000 wounded, including security forces personnel. Other estimates put the number of dead into the thousands.

China has never allowed an independent investigation into the crackdown, and the number of victims remains a taboo subject.

A lot has changed for China in the 20 years since the demonstrations. Supporters of the Chinese government advise people to let bygones be bygones, but pro-democracy advocates refuse to relegate their movement to history.

On Wednesday's Riz Khan we speak to Yang Jianli, a Tiananmen Square activist in 1989, about the state of democracy in China today.

Also joining the programme is John Delury, an asssociate director of the Center on US-China Relations and director of the China Boom Project at the Asia Society.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Wednesday, July 3, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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