'I recall being woken by the sound of tanks moving down the Avenue of Eternal Peace. It was 5 o'clock on the morning of 4 June. Tanks, APCs and troop trucks were sweeping down the avenue. Citizens ran for cover. Helicopters hovered above. Foreign media claimed that Chinese troops had fired into the crowds with several hundred casualties.'
More than three decades later, the Tiananmen Square incident refuses to be forgotten. The events that occurred in the summer of 1989 would not only set the course for China's politics but would also re-define its relationship with the world. China's message was clear: it remained committed to market-oriented reform, but it would not tolerate any challenge to the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party. In return for economic prosperity, the Chinese have surrendered some rights to the state. A democratic future seems far away.
Vijay Gokhale, then a young diplomat serving in Beijing, was a witness to the drama that unfolded in Tiananmen Square. This unique account brings an Indian perspective on an event in China's history that the Chinese government has been eager to have the world forget.