BBC World Service Radio Interview: Shen Tong May 29th, 2009

This interview is surprisingly good, with tough but fair questions, with almost no edit that would take my answers out of context.

There is one part during the interview that needs more clarification due to limited time:

Question: “What the movement exciting for you?” or Confusing.

Answer: it’s both.

Question: The confusion of the focus of the protests?

Answer:  no. the movement largely stayed its course both in pursuit of end of corruption, greater democracy and freedom, and in non-violent means.

What left unsaid during the recorded interview: the confusion really comes from two sources

A. what we’ve known by now because of Tiananmen Papers, and the Prisoner of the State among other courses that explained the inner working of the Chinese government during the Spring of 1989 was equally, if not more, deciding factors that affected the outcome of the events in Spring 1989 in China. The street theater was only part of the story.

B. The street protests went much further than anyone expected. No one on the protest side had the experience nor the psychological readiness to effectively organize and lead strategically.

Interview: Shen Tong 29May09
Friday, May 29, 2009 6:32 PM
Carrie Gracie talks to Shen Tong. Twenty years ago he was one of the young Chinese student leaders in the Tiananmen Square democracy protests. In the bloody aftermath he fled to the United States and became an activist in exile. Now at the age of 40 he runs a software company in New York and has made a handful of visits back to Beijing. So how does he look back on those heady events of 1989?

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