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How to Realize China: 30 Years After Tiananmen Square

Event Type
china, tiananmen square
Hosted by: Center for Advanced Study | Cosponsored by: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies, Department of Asian American Studies, Department of Communication, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of History, Department of Journalism, Department of Political Science, LAS Global Studies, Spurlock Museum, University Library
Spurlock Museum Knight Auditorium (600 South Gregory, Urbana)
Sep 19, 2019   6:30 pm  
Wang Dan; Ronald E. Yates
Free and open to the public

In this lecture, Wang Dan poses the hypothetical question: If the Tiananmen Square Protests had succeeded, what would China look like today? He will give a first-hand account of the protests and his dreams of a democratic China. Ronald E. Yates will provide the introduction and serve as moderator for the discussion following the lecture.



Wang Dan is a political activist and affiliated with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. While a student at Peking University, he organized “Democracy Salons” and became one of the main organizers of the Tiananmen Square Protests. After the People’s Liberation Army put a violent end to the protests on June 4, 1989, Wang was placed on the list of 21 most-wanted student leaders. In 1998, after 2 arrests and nearly 4 years in prison, Wang went into exile in the US. He received a doctorate in History from Harvard University and is the author of numerous books and articles. He remains a leader in the Chinese democracy movement.


Ronald E. Yates is a former award-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. He reported from Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. He currently resides in California where he is producing historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and award-winning Finding Billy Battles trilogy.


In anticipation of Dr. Wang’s presentation, CAS will be screening the new PBS documentary Tiananmen: The People Versus The Party at 7:00pm on Thursday, September 12. Venue TBA.

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