Date
20 September 2017
Zhou Fengsuo (right) documents his return to Tiananmen Square 25 years after the crackdown. Photo: Twitter. www.64tianwang.com
Zhou Fengsuo (right) documents his return to Tiananmen Square 25 years after the crackdown. Photo: Twitter. www.64tianwang.com

Student leader returns to Tiananmen 25 years on

In 1989, Zhou Fengsuo was on the central government’s most-wanted list over his role in the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. A quarter of a century later and now in exile in the United States he slipped into China to become the only one on the list of 21 to visit the square again, Apple Daily reported Friday.

Zhou flew from San Francisco on June 1 on a new US passport, arriving in Beijing on June 2 on a 72-hour visa-free stay offered by the city.

He remained in China for just 29 hours before he was deported back to the US on Thursday. Zhou used the intervening hours to visit a Beijing detention center to try to give money to detained rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and veteran journalist Gao Yu, who have been held there since last month, according to the New York Times.

Zhou was also driven past Tiananmen Square by a friend during a tour of the city, the New York Times reported. 

Zhou was a student at Tsinghua University in 1989 and was jailed for a year after the protests. He went to Chicago in 1995 to study and has continued to live there since, offering financial support to pro-democracy activists in China.

Back in the US after his deportation, Zhou said the reason he was able to return to China was because he had changed his US passport and had kept his plan completely confidential.

He said that while he was being held, officers treated him kindly and they had a discussion about the events of June 4.

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