NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
15th May, 1989 : In the austere vastness of the Great Hall of People, Mikhail Gorbachev shook hands with the Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, today. However, the historic moment was totally overshadowed by the extraordinary events taking place a few hundred metres away, with up to 500,000 students and supporters from every walk of life occupying Beijing’s huge Tiananmen Square calling for democracy. Incredibly, in a country where respect for authority is paramount, many of the marchers’ slogans have been openly defiant. One aimed at deng, until recently regarded as China’s saviour, read: “Down with the emperor!” Until now the demonstration has been peaceful.
[The Tienanmen massacre occurred not long afterwards, on 4th June 1989. Communism showed its bloody fangs once again.]