Three decades have passed since the Tiananmen Square crackdown when troops fired on student-led pro-democracy protesters. The shots were heard around the country and reverberate today despite persistent official censorship of the events.

Josephine Ma, Guo Rui

For 30 years the Communist Party has refused to revisit June 4, doubling down against calls to check its power. But its long-term authoritarian survival strategy raises big risks of its own.

The scale and nature of the crackdown in Tiananmen Square changed everything for Hong Kong, ending talk of developing democracy, and an open election of the city’s leader.

Censorship, silence and time have created a gulf between the young people who witnessed the crackdown 30 years ago and those who came after them.

The events of 1989 profoundly affected people in Hong Kong, then still a British colony. But now, younger residents are less bothered about commemoration, focusing instead on political concerns closer to home.

Separated from their families and unable to reach their potential, the brightest and best set out to remember the events of June 4, 1989, and promote democracy on the mainland from overseas, but time has led to disarray and infighting in the ranks.