Ha Jin

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Two decades ago, China's largest pro-democracy protests ended when military tanks rolled toward Tiananmen Square and troops opened fire on the crowds. For this anniversary, the Op-Ed editors asked four writers, who were students or working at the time, to reflect back on the event.

1.- China’s Forgotten Revolution. By Yu Hua.
June 4, 1989, means little to young people.

2.- Dance With Democracy. By Yiyun Li.
After the crackdown, fear trumped friendship.

3.- 'Here Come The Workers'. By Lijia Zhang.
Notes from the protests outside Beijing.

4.- Exiled To English. By Ha Jin.
Why I left my native language behind.

I was in the People’s Liberation Army in the 1970s, and we soldiers had always been instructed that our principal task was to serve and protect the people. So when the Chinese military turned on the students in Tiananmen Square, it shocked me so much that for weeks I was in a daze.

At the time, I was in the United States, finishing a dissertation in American literature. My plan was to go back to China once it was done. I had a teaching job waiting for me at Shandong University.

After the crackdown, some friends assured me that the Communist Party would admit its mistake within a year.…  Seguir leyendo »