‘Tank man’ lensman wants China to open up

Alhambra (US: The American photographer who shot the iconic image of a man standing in front of tanks at the 1989 Tiananmen protests says it’s time for the Chinese government to come clean about the bloody events of 30 years ago.

Jeff Widener was an Associated Press photo editor based in Bangkok when he was called in to help cover a growing student-led pro-democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The day after the military crushed the protests on June 3-4, Widener took the shot of an unknown man holding shopping bags facing a row of tanks. The photo of “tank man” became one of the most famous images of defiance of the 20th century.

In an interview, Widener said he doesn’t understand why China’s leaders won’t admit to errors made and reveal the truth behind the crackdown.

“The US and European countries have made mistakes and they’ve reconciled those problems,” Widener said.

“I think it’s time for China to move forward and just come clean on what happened, report to the family members what happened to their loved ones so that they can put this to rest,” he said.

The man moved at least twice to block the tanks and climbed on the turret of one to converse with a crew member. Eventually, he was whisked from the scene by two men in blue, whose identities, like that of the man himself, have never been revealed.