TWO ROADS DIVERGED in the course of human liberty, and seven years ago next week, history took them both.
On June 3, 1989, Europe's eastern half was still locked in the deep freeze of communism. There was a hint of a thaw only in Hungary, where barbed wire along the Austrian border was coming down; and in Poland, where the Communist Party was letting some seats in Parliament be contested by Lech Walesa's Solidarity. But Hungary's Communist rulers were not about to loosen their grip on power, and no matter what happened at the polls, it seemed highly doubtful that Poland's would, either.
One continent away, however, freedom seemed poised for a climactic victory. For weeks, China had thrilled to an intense outpouring of pro-democracy fervor. In Beijing and 80 other cities, millions of Chinese had taken to the streets in a dazzling plea for liberty and political reform. The protests had begun in mid-April, when thousands of students thronged Tiananmen Square, calling for "minzhu" -- democracy -- and an end to censorship.. . .