Senior facilitator, Kate Wall, was the ABC’s correspondent in Beijing in the early 1990s, soon after the crackdown on anti-government protests in Tiananmen Square.
She’s now contributed to The Beijing Bureau: 25 Australian correspondents reporting China’s rise. The book has just been launched and is already topping Asia category book sales with online retailers.
She tells of government policy and her personal experience.
‘At that time, maintaining stability was the government’s focus,’ says Kate.
‘We weren’t even sure if China’s economic opening would continue, such was the behind-the-scenes ideological infighting.
‘The joy of living and working in Beijing was to hop on my bike and cycling around the crowded hutongs, the narrow lanes near the Forbidden City.
‘It was a snapshot of people getting on with their lives – people sitting on benches gossiping, young couples seeking some privacy, grandparents minding a precious grandchild. And always there was delicious food being sold, seemingly on every corner.’