These are the two enduring images of China. Democracy was crushed at Tiananmen in 1989, and its Economy roared as never before.
Deng Xiaoping, the same leader who sent in the tanks, also opened China to market reforms, allowing the country to escape poverty. By touring China’s south in 1992, visiting Special Economic Zones across the border from Hong Kong, Deng signaled that China was open for business. Hong Kong tycoons crossed the border with capital and manufacturing expertise, paving the path to “Made in China.”
With each passing year, even those who remember Tiananmen must ask: Is it worth looking back? Or, as the Mandarin pun has it – “xiang qian kan” which means “look to get rich”. It’s a question that global media, multinational business and foreign governments must confront as well.