It’s the lead pic from the New York Times’s story today about how China’s current leaders were molded by the events of 1989.
For four days, more than 400 of China’s brightest political minds gathered in smoke-clouded halls at a Beijing hotel, vigorously debating the nation’s future.
It was April 1989, and after a decade of economic transformation, China faced a clamor for political liberalization. Days later, protests erupted in Tiananmen Square, and the lives of those at the meeting took radically different turns. Several are now national leaders, including Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister. Others ended up in prison or exile, accused of supporting the demonstrations that shook the Communist Party and ended with soldiers sweeping through the city on June 4, shooting dead hundreds of unarmed protesters and bystanders.
The caption for the photograph, which was taken by AFP, reads: “Student protesters faced police officers in Tiananmen Square in April 1989 while grieving for Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party leader and liberal whose death set off the protests.”