30 Years After Tiananmen: Dissent Is Not Dead

Issue Date April 2019
Volume 30
Issue 2
Page Numbers 57-63
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In developments that form a stark contrast to the hopes that accompanied the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of thirty years ago, Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party regime has devised new ways to consolidate power and crackdown on dissent. Yet despite an ever-expanding surveillance apparatus and a burgeoning social-credit system, the political values and spirit of collective action embodied in the 1989 democracy movement have endured and even thrived. Indeed, while the Xi government may appear all-powerful, political fissures are widening, and there are many pockets of discontent. China may not appear to be moving on the right track-but we have not yet reached the end of Chinese history.

About the Author

Elizabeth Economy is C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a distinguished  visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. She is the author of The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (2018).

View all work by Elizabeth Economy