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Zhang Lijia by Fantake via Flickr

In A Changing China, the recently released book by the China Speakers Bureau, celebrity author Zhang Lijia recalls how she, as a worker in a missile factory in Nanjing, organized a demonstration to support the students in Beijing:

It’s been 20 years. Yet I remember vividly every detail of that day when I decided to organize a demonstration  among the workers from my factory in support of the students in Tiananmen. It was Sunday, May 28, 1989, a week before the bloody crackdown.

The death of Hu Yaobang had triggered the spontaneous democratic movement. The popular former Communist Party Secretary General was ousted, in part for his sympathetic view towards the student protests. When the government rejected a request for his rehabilitation, the Beijing students marched towards Tiananmen, demanding greater freedom and democracy. Like a match thrown onto kindling, students from all over the country took to the streets. They were soon joined by citizens from all walks of life who were disgusted by wide spread corruption, nepotism and lack of personal freedom. 

Not only Zhang Lijia contributed to our book, but another 16 speakers at the China Speakers Bureau, including Kaiser Kuo (Rocking into the future), Mark Schaub (A dead body in front of your office) and Janet Carmosky (Why China is different).
More in A Changing China. You can ask for a review copy in pdf-format here.

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. If you need her at your conference, do get in touch.

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