Dori Jones Yang was among the first American correspondents to cover China at the beginning of the reform era. Her memoir, When the Red Gates Opened, follows her rise from rookie reporter to experienced journalist. Her cross-cultural romance gave her deeper insights into how Deng Xiaoping’s reforms led to hopes for better lives. This sense of possibility reached its peak in 1989, when peaceful protesters filled Tiananmen Square, demanding democracy, among other things. On the ground in Beijing, Ms. Yang shared that hope, as well as the despair that followed. After Tiananmen, she returned to the United States, continuing to watch closely as China’s growth resumed.
The National Committee held a virtual program with author Ms. Dori Jones Yang on September 23, 2020 to discuss her book.