Dr. Brook, a scholar of Chinese history and Professor at the University of British Columbia, discusses his book about the massacre in Beijing and various details about what actually happened.
The discussion then focuses on the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, twice purged by Mao Zedong and whose own son had been injured and crippled during the chaos of the Cultrual Revolution (1966-1976). Deng acted to use overwhelming, and lethal force, on the students.
Defenders of Deng submit that this was a necessary step to promote Chinese stability, and allow Deng’s successful economic reforms, which had lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty following Mao’s death in 1976; and serious upheavals during Mao’s life like The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Dr. Brook discusses this view, and what he sees as the legacy of Deng, and the history of democracy in China.
The interview then turns to what Dr. Brook sees as the future for China with President Xi now set to rule for life, like Mao before him.