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Council on Foreign Relations Educators Bulletin
Resources for the Academic Community

Special Edition: China

June 2014

The June issue of the Educators Bulletin focuses on China with a section dedicated to Tiananmen Square. Included are CFR resources in a variety of formats to fit differing educational needs. Whether you want to provide your students with a succinct overview, an in-depth analysis, or an insider's take on the topic, CFR has the resources that bring the story to life.




Symposium on the 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square
In this complementary set of panel discussions, experts give context to the events that transpired in 1989, examine the foreign and domestic policy choices made by the United States and China, and evaluate their legacy today. With Nicholas D. Kristof, Brent Scowcroft, and Richard N. Haass on the American perspective; and Louisa Lim, Xiao Qiang, and Orville Schell on the Chinese perspective.
The U.S. Perspective
The Chinese Perspective


Find on vital primary sources underpinning the foreign policy debate. Read more.

Nobel Lecture by Liu Xiaobo, "I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement"
Chinese writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who participated in the Tiananmen Square protests, received the 2010 Nobel Prize in absentia. J. Latourelle (Human Rights in China) translated his Nobel Lecture, and Liv Ullmann read it at the ceremony.

U.S. Department of State: "China: Aftermath of the Crisis"
This July 27, 1989 U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research report analyzes the impact of the crackdown in Tiananmen Square on China's domestic and foreign policy and the responses from other countries.

Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Zhao's Tiananmen Square Speech
In Tiananmen Square on May 19, 1989, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang asked students to end their hunger strike for political and economic reform and negotiate with the government. The day before, leaders from the Politburo Standing Committee and the Military Affairs Commissioner had agreed to declare martial law to handle the students' protest.


Foreign Affairs' latest ebook Tiananmen and After commemorates the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 events.

Columbia University Professor Andrew J. Nathan writes the introduction to this collection, which includes the landmark "Tiananmen Papers," originally published in Foreign Affairs, in 2001.

Other contributions to Tiananmen and After:

  • China's ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai on whether he could imagine a time when his country might act more like a country that has arrived and less like a country that is striving to arrive and still battling with its past.
  • Political scientist Lucian Pye recounts the massacre in Tiananmen Square as it looked in real time.
  • Tsinghua University professor John L. Thornton argues that China is on a path to a democratic future.
  • Venture capitalist Eric X. Li explains why China should retain its one-party political model.
  • MIT professor Yasheng Huang responds that political change is necessary and the only question is whether it will come peacefully or through violence.
  • Johns Hopkins's David M. Lampton points out that China's leaders have lost political power over the past decades.
  • CFR Senior Fellow Elizabeth C. Economy maintains that China will have to engage in revolutionary top-down and bottom-up efforts to improve its environmental policies.
  • China analysts Evan A. Feigenbaum and Damien Ma unpack what the party's recent plenum means for its economic and political future.

Tiananmen and After is currently available as a PDF replica and within the iPad app for $8.95 or free with a Foreign Affairs magazine subscription. The ebook will soon be available on Kindle and other ereader platforms, as well as print-on-demand through For more, visit

The links below allow you special access to articles from Tiananmen and After.

"Chinese Dissidence from Tiananmen to Today"
Sharon K. Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China
As popular discontent and citizen activism have spread online in recent years, they have also broadened in scope to include demands not only for political reforms, but also for official accountability on environmental crises, rampant corruption, tainted consumer products, theft of community land, dangerous workplaces, and increasing social and economic equalities.

"The Geography of Chinese Power"
Robert D. Kaplan, Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security
Thanks to the country's favorable location on the map, China's influence is expanding on land and at sea, from Central Asia to the South China Sea and from the Russian Far East to the Indian Ocean.


InfoGuide: China's Maritime Disputes
The East and South China Seas are the scene of escalating territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. China's growing assertiveness has fueled concerns over armed conflict and led to questions about Washington's security commitments and strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. CFR InfoGuides make use of videos, timelines, maps, and infographics to provide students with an interactive format for the in-depth study of current issues.

Backgrounder: China's Environmental Crisis
China's mounting environmental crisis is endangering the pace of its economic growth and threatening the legitimacy of the ruling party. CFR Backgrounders provide the context needed to understand the history, issues, institutions, and organizations behind current events.

Op-Ed: China Isn't Overtaking America
CFR Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment Michael A. Levi for the New York Times: An April report that China's economy will soon become the world's largest has sparked worries that China is overtaking America as an economic power. Op-Eds by CFR fellows appear in a variety of national news outlets.

Must Read: Project Syndicate: Reforming China's State-Market Balance
China, one hopes, will not take the route that America followed, with such disastrous consequences. The challenge for its leaders is to devise effective regulatory regimes that are appropriate for its stage of development," writes Nobel winner Joseph E. Stiglitz for Project Syndicate. CFR Must Reads include an index of the best online analyses and inquiries on foreign policy.

CFR Blog: Asia Unbound
In Asia Unbound, CFR fellows Elizabeth C. Economy, Yanzhong Huang, Josh Kurlantzick, Adam Segal, Sheila A. Smith, Scott A. Snyder, and Alyssa Ayres provide timely commentary on emerging issues in Asia today.



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The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

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