China Seminar | 12 November 2009

20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Demonstrations: An Eyewitness Account

Raymond Burghardt Raymond Burghardt

20 years ago during the massive Tiananmen demonstrations, Raymond Burghardt, who was the Acting Deputy Ambassador at the U. S. Embassy in Beijing, spent many hours witnessing the demonstrations, talking with the participants, and on the night of the attacks, personally witnessing the killing of some demonstrators. He was also very involved in the American Embassy’s interaction with the Chinese government after June 4th, including the response to the Chinese military’s firing on the diplomatic compound and the asylum in the embassy of dissident Fang Lizhi. In addition to recounting the dramatic events of that period, Burghardt will put them into their political context, including the leadership struggle in Beijing.

Ambassador Burghardt is the Director of East-West Seminars and concurrently serves as the Chairman, named by former Secretary of State Rice, of the Board of Trustees of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). His previous overseas services include the Ambassador to Vietnam, Consul General in Shanghai, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Manila and Seoul, and Political Counselor in Beijing. He also served in various capacities in the National Security Council as Special Assistant to President Reagan, and the U.S. Embassies in Honduras and Guatemala as well as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia before joining the Foreign Service. Ambassador Burghardt is a graduate of Columbia College and speaks Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.