I was only 14 when the events at Tiananmen Square took place. I remember the images — especially the lone man in front of the tank — but I didn’t understand their significance at the time. That all changed when I moved to China in 2003, and met some very brave people — some who participated on June 4, 1989, and some who, for reasons of age or lack of opportunity, didn’t — and learned a lot about the meaning of courage. During my four years in Beijing, each anniversary of Tiananmen Square went unnoticed — today, the twentieth, is no different. But in Hong Kong, where free speech is recognized, over a 100,000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil (photo above, from the New York Times).
My wish for China is what President Obama said today about another turbulent region of the world: that some day ordinary citizens will have the freedom to choose the way they live their lives. Granted, this is not a message that will win support with the Chinese government; then again, my blog is blocked in China anyway.