In this episode of Battlegrounds, H.R. McMaster and Tong Yi discuss the history of the Chinese Communist Party, competition with China, and prospects for human freedom on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.

Insights from a Chinese human rights advocate and Chinese labor camp survivor shed light on the history and current state of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Republic of China. Drawing on her experiences as assistant and interpreter to prominent Chinese democracy advocate and dissident Wei Jingsheng and as a political activist during the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing, Tong Yi joins Hoover senior fellow H.R. McMaster to discuss what motivates the CCP, the influence of Chinese imperial culture on the party's authoritarianism, current conditions of those under CCP rule, and why competition with the CCP matters to Americans.


Tong Yi

Ms. Tong Yi is a Chinese human rights advocate. She became a political activist during the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing and witnessed killings of civilians by the People’s Liberation Army on June 3–4, 1989. After the massacre, she moved in dissident circles in Beijing. She helped to locate bereaved families and connect them with the Tiananmen Mothers, a group led by Professor Ding Zilin.






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H.R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He was the 25th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.

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