September 29 - As Protests Grow in Hong Kong, China Cracks Down on Social Media; The Shadow of Tiananmen Hangs Over the Chinese Politburo; Is Obama Reading Putin Correctly?

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the continuing protests in Hong Kong where the use of tear gas by the police appears to have backfired, prompting ordinary citizens to join the students in growing demonstrations that are surely making Communist Party leaders in Beijing nervous. Victoria Hui, a Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame University, who has worked in the democracy movement in Hong Kong and now serves on the Academic Advisors Committee of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, joins us to discuss the Communist Party’s crackdown on social media as Beijing tries to contain the contagion of democratic protest from spreading to the mainland.


Part 2

Then we speak with a leading expert on China’s culture, language and people, Perry Link, who edited the “Tiananmen Papers”, a collection of documents leaked by a high-level Chinese official that chronicle the before and after events of the student massacre in 1989, the publication of which led to Perry Link being blacklisted by the Chinese government in 1996. We discuss how the shadow of Tiananmen hangs over the Politburo as President Xi Jinping erects a media firewall to keep the Chinese people in the dark about protests in Hong Kong while promoting an anti-corruption campaign at home largely designed to placate its angry citizens by going after minor local officials and the occasional big fish who is invariably a high-ranking political rival of the president’s.

perry link


Part 3

Then finally, we examine the latest fighting in Ukraine where nine Ukrainian soldiers died on Monday from shelling by pro-Russian separatists in the midst of a supposed ceasefire. A former Swedish diplomat, Anders Aslund, the co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Kyiv School of Economics joins us to discuss the devastated state of the Ukrainian economy and the increasingly debilitating effect of Western sanctions on the Russian economy, and whether President Obama’s recent assessment on CBS’s 60 Minutes of Putin’s predicament, rings true.

anders aslund