"Assignment China: Tiananmen Square" and “25 Years since Tiananmen: Then and Now”

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Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Charles E. Young Research Library Main Conference Room

This event is part of the ongoing program “China beyond Headlines News,” supported by Mr. Stephen Lesser’s generous gift to the CCS.

Documentary screening: Assignment China: Tiananmen Square

Twenty-five years ago, a large scale mass protest erupted at the center of China’s political symbolism, Tiananmen Square in Beijing. From mid April to early June, the protest lasted for nearly two months and spread to over a hundred cities across the country. Millions of people from all walks of the society took part in, before the government brought in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to suppress it on June 3-4. 

The protest and its bloody crackdown became a defining moment not only in contemporary China, but also in world media history. It was the first time in decades when a sizable group of foreign journalists were in Beijing. Most went to cover the first Sino-Soviet summit in thirty years. Most quickly refocused their attention on the protests, some broadcasting live from the Square. Their work that spring affected foreign perception and state policies towards China and her government in many countries around the world. 

Assignment China is a documentary series produced by USC’s US-China Institute (http://china.usc.edu/assignmentchina), examining how American news coverage of China since 1945. the function/contribution of media and journalism in the two countries unfolding relationship. This episode focuses on coverage of the 1989 demonstrations and their suppression. USCI senior fellow Mike Chinoy, then CNN's Beijing bureau chief, wrote and narrates the episode. 

Many journalists working for American print and broadcast news organizations appear in this episode. They include Dan Southerland (Washington Post), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn (New York Times), John Pomfret, Terril Jones and Jeff Widener (AP), Dan Rather, John Sheahan and Richard Roth (CBS), Bernard Shaw (CNN), Jim Laurie (ABC), Scott Savit (UPI), and many others. Others appearing include then U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, U.S. ambassadors to China Winston Lord and James Lilley, and student leader Wang Dan.

Panel Discussion “25 Years Since Tiananmen: Then and Now”
with Clayton Dube, Prof. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Mr. Terril Jones and Dr. Wang Chaohua

Followed by a Q&A session. 

About the Panelists:

Clayton Dube directs the USC U.S.-China Institute. He conceived of and supervises production of Assignment: China. Dube taught in China 1982-85 and returned there as a UCLA grad student in 1989. He was assistant director of the UCLA Asia Institute before joining USC eight years ago. Dube is a director of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia and serves on the editorial board of Education about Asia. A historian, he's won teaching awards at three universities.

Jeffrey N Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine. He specializes in China studies with a broad range of interest in issues concerning student protest, gender relation, globalization, image presentation, and so forth. His works include Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford, 1991) and China in the 21st Century: What everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2010, updated edition 2013, with contributions by UCI graduate student Maura Cunningham)He also writes continuously for the general public. He is Editor of Journal of Asian Studies, published by the Association for Asian Studies, and a co-editor of the Asian Section of Los Angeles Review of Books. 

Wang Chaohua was a graduate student and a participant of the 1989 student-led protest in Beijing. She became an exile based in Los Angeles after the military crackdown 25 years ago. She then enrolled in Chinese studies program at UCLA, earning her MA and Ph.D degrees in modern Chinese culture and literature. She is now an independent scholar and a visiting lecturer in UCLA's Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. She edited a collection of translated texts by leading Chinese intellectuals, published with her own introduction under the title One China, Many Paths (Verso, 2003). The book won a Choice's Best Academic Title recognition. She has published in both English and Chinese essays on contemporary Chinese intellectual life and political analyses. 

Terril Jones is a longtime foreign and business correspondent. He covered Japan, France, north Africa and the United Nations for 15 years with The Associated Press, was a founding editor of Forbes Global magazine, was the Detroit-based automotive correspondent for Forbes and the Los Angeles Times, and was a Silicon Valley correspondent for the L.A. Times. In September he completed a three-year assignment in Beijing with Reuters covering Chinese businesses, domestic politics and foreign policy. He spent his 8th grade year at a Chinese school in Taiwan, and had numerous extended reporting assignments in China in the 1980s. He studied Chinese leadership studies at the University of Michigan for a year as a Knight-Wallace Fellow, and digital media for six months at Ohio State University as a Kiplinger Fellow. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and French.

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Published: Friday, May 16, 2014