The Prisoner of Conscience: Zhao Ziyang, 1919-2005

AFP—GETTY IMAGES

BAD TIDINGS: Zhao tearfully tells pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square that their protests are useless

The last time the world saw Zhao Ziyang, he had a bullhorn in his hands and tears in his eyes. It was May 19, 1989, and for weeks students from around China had camped in Tiananmen Square calling for China's aging leaders to give them democracy. Many saw Zhao, the reform-minded General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as their greatest hope. When he arrived shortly before dawn, hunger-striking students literally reached their arms out to him, thinking the government had backed down and that they had won. But Zhao brought...

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