Carl Ho / Courtesy Reuters

Modern China's Original Sin

Tiananmen Square's Legacy of Repression

On May 3, 2014, about a dozen rights activists met in a private apartment in Beijing, where they held a seminar marking the 25th anniversary of the protests and crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Since that night, most of the activists have disappeared. At least one of them, Pu Zhiqiang, a human rights lawyer, has been formally detained (the prelude to a criminal charge) for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” In a way, none of this is surprising. China is an authoritarian regime. Whoever challenges it takes a risk. But what is surprising is that this small group of activists had held the same …

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