Avenue of Eternal Peace

Chang'an Dajie, which in English means "Avenue of Eternal Peace", leads to Tiananmen Square. The identity of the man in the photo, and his ultimate fate after being pulled to safety by onlookers, to this day are a mystery. The Sunday Express (UK) initially identified him as Wang Weilin, although many doubt the authenticity of this account.

It is interesting to note that although this image is famous throughout the world, it is virtually unknown in China, where all media (including the Internet) is tightly monitored and controlled. Many Chinese are unaware this standoff even took place.

Fellow reader George Waller recounts his experience in China just after the Tiananmen Square protest:

I went backpacking in China the very next week, with a great deal of apprehension. However, as I was in southern China, not too far from Hong Kong I didn't think it was that big a deal.

It was quite the ordeal as everywhere we went, there were government cameras filming us, as if to say "see, its safe to come back to China". Tourism, as you might imagine dropped off after hundreds were massacred. Bloodshed tends to scare vacationers you see.

I recall holding my hand up to the camera lens as I passed by as if that would really block the filming. It was interesting. One night we spent in a modern hotel (we only backpacked from one scenic spot to another and a van would pick us up and take us to where we would spend the night). Anyway I watched a cute Chinese girl teach aerobics while thinking about the peasant plowing with an oxen I had seen only minutes before getting to the hotel. What is wrong with this picture I thought? Another oddity, our group was on a "group visa", literally all of our names were on a single piece of paper, not our passports, so we had to stay together as a group, or else!

WHO GOT IT RIGHT:  Pete Daggett, Dr Feelgood, Arne Haaning, Robbie Moore, Bob Milligan, Marty Paul, Luz Velasco, Marc Quinlivan, Rick Gough, and Patty Rondinel.

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