PIC had the honour of hosting Mr.Vijay Gokhale, former Foreign Secretary and Member, PIC for a discussion on his book “Tiananmen Square: The Making of a Protest” on 31st May. This session  was chaired by Mr. Jayadeva Ranade, former Member, NationalSecurity Advisory Board (NSAB) and President, Centre for China Analysis and Strategy.

Both, Mr Gokhale and Mr Ranade were serving at the Indian Embassy in Beijing in 1989 when this dramatic event took place. In conversation with Mr. Ranade, Mr. Gokhale began by noting that the book provides the necessary Indian perspective on the drama that played out in China in 1989, the reverberations of which are felt even today. He said that we cannot depend on Western and Chinese perspectives to understand China which is very important to us, as Indians, now and in the foreseeable future. He also threw light on the questionable reporting by the Western media, especially on the number of casualties, and said there was no evidence of a massacre of ‘thousands’ of people at Tiananmen Square. The discussion provided rich details of the dramatic event as it unfolded, insights into Chinese political system and leadership and  the US-China dynamic at the time, with both being allies; the Indian embassy’s reportage to New Delhi during the period, and China’s political sophistication in dealing with dissidents then and now.  The talk was followed by a round of questions and answers.

The talk was followed by a round of questions and answers.

Here’s the link to the video recording of this session: