Don't Look Back

Learning to navigate Beijing's frenzied roads, new drivers are often advised that if they don't want to crash, they shouldn't use their rearview mirror. If everyone else is watching the road ahead, the logic goes, then not only is it pointless to focus on what's behind you, it's also dangerous. In the 15 years since their bloody suppression of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations, China's leaders have worked hard to ensure that their people think about politics in much the same way as Beijingers drive. Memories of the massacre, which Beijing euphemistically refers to as an "incident," are dangerous to the legitimacy...

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