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June 04, 2007

After Tiananmen

After Tiananmen

It was 18 years ago that tanks and soldiers rolled into Tiananmen Square. Two months before the massacre, workers and students across China had been gathering in Beijing to protest against Communist Party policies. There's little agreement about exactly how many died on the night of June 4, 1989. But journalists who were there say thousands were killed in the government crackdown.

Shen Tong was in Tiananmen Square that night. He later came to the U.S. where he continued to be politically active in support of a democratized China. But Shen eventually gave up activism for capitalism. He decided he could have a greater influence as an individual by bringing technology to Chinese society.

Shen talks with Dick Gordon about growing up in China, his memories of Tiananmen Square and his new business, VFinity.

Dick also talks with Jaykumar Menon, a lawyer in New York. In 2000, Jaykumar was part of a legal team that sued Li Peng, the former Chinese prime minister, for human rights abuses committed at Tiananmen Square. The lawsuit - which had to be delivered to the prime minister while he was in New York - was ultimately unsuccessful. But the challenge of serving Li Peng the papers proved to be quite an adventure for Jaykumar. He posed as a newlywed, sneaked into an elevator with Chinese officials and faced down a line of police officers.


Tiananmen Square by Gary Hetler and Lei Qiang for the album Atmospherics; Tiananmen Square by Jerry Jennings for the album Signs of Humanity

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