Editor’s note for Thursday, June 4, 2020


Dear Access member,

Some notes:

It’s June 4 today, or May 35, the 31st anniversary of the crackdown on protests at Tiananmen Square and elsewhere in China. For a rundown on the events of that day and that year, see the piece we published last year: 30 essential stories about June 4, 1989.  

MemetJan Juma, the deputy director of Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Service tweeted: “Abdukadir Juma, my brother, who translated Chinese Nobel Prize Laureate Mò Yán’s 莫言 Red Sorghum into Uyghur Language, had been transferred to a forced labor camp after his internment for three years.”

A few videos and events you may be interested in:

Half of all vaccines for the virus that causes COVID-19 that have gone to clinical trial were discovered by Chinese companies, NPR recently reported. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has said that if China develops a vaccine, it would be a “global public good.” What do you think Xi means by that more precisely, and how do you think that would play out geopolitically if the U.S. were in a position to depend on China for yet another critical medical resource?

Our word of the day is June 4, 1989, usually just shortened to 六四 liù sì in Chinese.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief