By: Jianli Yang – June 4th, 2022

In spring 1989, I returned from my study in America to China to participate in the Tiananmen demonstrations. I was luckier than many protesters, narrowly escaping the June 4 massacre. I escaped to America, and have since continued my human-rights work.

As a longtime student of history and a close observer of politics in China and the U.S., I have poignantly realized that in politics, extremism is the rule rather than the exception—yet almost every civilizational advance throughout history has come when political forces overcame that tendency. One of the characteristics of extremism is seeing people with different opinions as irreconcilable enemies. Extremism in the U.S. now even endangers American democracy itself. The two major political parties have little interest in working together to find common ground on the most hotly contested issues.

Even in China where we, Chinese democrats, command the high moral ground vis-a-vis the CCP dictatorship, it is neither moral nor strategic to treat everyone in our opposite political camp as a mortal enemy. This is the lesson I have learned from the two Tiananmen tank men.

Yes, two… [Continue Reading]