(Above: Scene in Tiananmen Square, 1989. Source: PBS, © Agence Vu/Gabriel)
Thirty years ago this month, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square in Beijing, violently ending seven weeks of pro-democracy demonstrations. Tomorrow, June 25, PBS will debut Tiananmen: The People Versus the Party, a day-by-day account of the protests directed and co-written by Ian MacMillan (Civilizations).
To tell the story of how Tiananmen evolved from peaceful student protests to deadly carnage — death toll estimates go as high as 15,000 — MacMillan obtained access to previously undisclosed government documents, and interviewed several eyewitnesses. The latter include a secretly filmed interview with a high ranking Communist Party insider who witnessed the inner debate within the halls of power.
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