How to Realize China: 30 Years after Tiananmen Square

6:30 p.m.

Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory, Urbana

In this lecture, Wang Dan poses the hypothetical question: If the Tiananmen Square Protests had succeeded, what would China look like today? He will give a firsthand account of the protests and his dreams of a democratic China. Ronald E. Yates, professor emeritus of journalism and former dean of the College of Media, will provide the introduction and serve as moderator for the discussion following the lecture.

In anticipation of Dr. Wang’s presentation, CAS will be screening the new PBS documentary Tiananmen: The People Versus The Party at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 12, at The Art Theatre, Champaign.

Hosted by: Center for Advanced Study. Cosponsored by: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies, College of Law, Department of Asian American Studies, Department of Communication, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of History, Department of Journalism, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology, LAS Global Studies, Spurlock Auditorium, University Library.


Wang Dan is a political activist and affiliated with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. While a student at Peking University, he organized “Democracy Salons” and became one of the main organizers of the Tiananmen Square Protests. After the People’s Liberation Army put a violent end to the protests on June 4, 1989, Wang was placed on the list of 21 most-wanted student leaders. In 1998, after 2 arrests and nearly 4 years in prison, Wang went into exile in the US. He received a doctorate in History from Harvard University and is the author of numerous books and articles. He remains a leader in the Chinese democracy movement.


Ronald E. Yates is a former award-winning foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and professor emeritus of journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the dean of the College of Media. He reported from Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. He currently resides in California where he is producing historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and award-winning Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

Read Yates' eye witness accounts of the events at Tiananmen Square.