The week following the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in which an untold number of civilians were killed (certainly in the hundreds, possibly in the thousands) and many more arrested, The Nation published an editorial titled “China Passage”:

For now, the party will retain power. But its nakedness has been exposed and it will not easily recover. The popular conclusion to draw—and we are bombarded by it daily—is that this is a further installment in the death of socialism and the triumph of the West. Not so. The Bush Administration’s discomfiture at Deng Xiaoping’s problems speaks volumes. The sirens of the West advised China to flood its markets with goodies and the people would be happy. But that was a fallacy, and the students have the evidence—the corruption of the party, which is what has resulted from China’s unholy marriage between market reform and an unregenerated, closed political system.

June 4, 1989

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