Latest Issue

Tiananmen 20 years on: lessons from Russia

Twenty years ago, China could have followed the path of the Soviet Union. Now the picture is very different: but China's leaders could still learn from Gorbachev

By Archie Brown   June 2009

To discuss this article visit First Drafts, Prospect ‘s blog

Twenty years ago today in China the prolonged pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square was brought to a brutal end, when troops and tanks moved in and hundreds of people were killed on the streets of Beijing. While the western world remembers this event, it’s worth bearing in mind that June marks another, very different anniversary. Just 20 years ago democratic reforms in the Soviet Union also astonished the world. Contested elections brought into being the First Congress of People’s Deputies, held between 25 May and 9 June. From the outset,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect