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New Left Review I/235, May-June 1999

New Left Review

Introduction to the Dialogue on China’s Future

The student movement that arose in Beijing in March 1989, and developed into a nation-wide upheaval, drawing in millions of citizens in the capital and across the country in protest against the official response to the crisis, before the occupation of Tiananmen Square was repressed by military force on the night of June 4th, remains a defining moment in modern Chinese history. Ten years later, most of the leading activists of the June 4th movement are in exile, part of a much broader Chinese intellectual diaspora that maintains close connections with cultural life in the mainland, as well as with its counterparts in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Relative political stasis in the prc has been accompanied by a significant ferment of debates and diversity of ideas in this wider community. Central to these has been the meaning and consequences of June 4th.

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