Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Remembering Tiananmen Square - 1989

OK, so you can't read this blog in China now with tags like Tiananmen and June 4th 1989. But that doesn't stop me recalling the very dramatic broadcast from the English service of Radio Beijing as it was then (now China Radio International). The announcer called on all listeners to recall the events of the evening of June 3rd 1989 in Tianamen Square. At the time we believed the announcement to have been made by Li Dan, a producer in the English department. A full transcript is here. Just look at Footnote 47.

I haven't (yet) managed to find the Media Network broadcast a few days after. But in April 1992 I made a Media Network special feature (with help from the Asian Broadcasting Institute of Japan) which looked at what happened in the propaganda war between China and Taiwan immediately afterwards. Want to hear it? Then download the MP3 file of the programme segment here. It's 27 MB. I note the BBC World Service has been putting out documentaries out about Tiananmen, although they have been broadcast well before the anniversary. May be it is a clever tactic to get around the great firewall just before the blocade intensifies? Many reports out there of heightened censorship this week. Kate Adie, one of the BBC correspondents in Beijing at the time, wrote an interesting account in the UK Daily Mail newspaper.


Mike Barraclough said...

The full Radio Beijing English service broadcast can be heard in a feature "The Lost Voice of Radio Beijing", scroll down to May 31 2001 at:

An article I wrote on this broadcast in August 2005 is under China at:

Jonathan Marks said...

Thanks Mike for the link. I think the NY State University guy jumps to the wrong conclusions though. The announcer wasn't killed. His career was severely stunted though. It reminds me of the Radio Moscow announcer who criticised the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.