When 22-year-old Bao Pu and Taiwanese-American Renee Chiang fell in love in the summer of 1989 in Tiananmen Square, neither of them knew that their future would become so entwined with history. Chiang, daughter of Taiwanese immigrants to the US, was teaching English at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing while she researched family origins on the mainland. If not for China's reform and opening up 10 years before, she may not have gone to Beijing at all. Bao was an undergraduate at the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB) taking part in the massive protests against corruption and seeking greater economic and political transparency. His father, Bao Tong, the top aide of former Communist Party head Zhao Ziyang , was the most senior official jailed over the Tiananmen student protests. However, the public did not realise this link until Bao Pu published the Chinese and English versions of Zhao's memoir, Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on June 4 this year. More than 100,000 copies of the Chinese-language version The Secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang have been ordered by Hong Kong bookshops since it went on sale, making it the city's non-fiction best-seller. Last month Bao again angered Beijing and caught the attention of officials by publishing in Hong Kong another book that it banned: Chinese Civilisation Revisited - an academically inclined critique of traditional Chinese culture. Bao and Chiang, who married in 1993, spent four years sorting and translating Zhao's 30-plus hours of audio memoirs, which became the English-language version of the book that was released in Hong Kong before the Chinese-language edition. Bao said he had strived to avoid following in his father's footsteps when he was young, 'but the crackdown of the June 4 movement changed my destiny as well as my wife's'. Driven by a tide of Chinese going abroad in the 1980s and his father's disappearance a week before the crackdown, Bao left Beijing in November 1989 for the United States, and Chiang went with him. As an undergraduate majoring in physical chemistry at USTB, Bao studied computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he believed would help him earn a living in the US. 'Even in the first 21/2 years in the US, I still believed politics was not my cup of tea.' But unexpected news in July 1992 overwhelmed him. The Beijing Municipal People's Court held a three-minute public hearing to announce a seven-year sentence given to his father for 'revealing state secrets and counterrevolutionary propagandising' following a three-hour secret trial. The so-called public hearing came after Bao Tong had been taken from his home and held for more than three years. Only his wife, Jiang Zongcao, daughter Bao Jian, two-year-old granddaughter and two sisters were allowed to sit in the 500-seat courtroom with officials and court staff. 'I started to ask myself why someone like my father could be made to disappear [by Chinese authorities] so easily,' Bao Pu said. 'All the unfair news reminded me that my wife and I were eyewitnesses of the June 4 movement, as the gunfire and shooting near my home in Muxidi on the night of June 3 is still a vivid memory in our minds.' Muxidi is only three kilometres west of Tiananmen Square. It was the first spot that the People's Liberation Army started firing on thousands of unarmed people in an attempt to stop them from entering the square during the crackdown. Living in the US has also let Bao Pu read more books about China's current history. 'I was angry over their [Chinese officials'] attitude in dealing with history,' he said. 'How come they could cover up or even force all the people to forget so many facts?' Since the opening-up period of the 1980s under party leaders Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, young people such as Bao cultivated different values because they could read various Western social science and philosophy books. 'I believe history is inviolable, as it has an impact on both current and even future events,' Bao said. 'So we shouldn't let historical facts related to Zhao, such an open-minded leader, be missed in our present history.' An enlightened awareness began to bridge the gap between Bao and his father, who helped Deng Xiaoping draft his speech about 'the top priority of scientific development among China's four modernisations' in 1978, which was Deng's first public address since being rehabilitated after the Cultural Revolution. 'But my hobbies were totally different from my father. Despite this, he never pushed me to do anything. He just told me that I should learn to get at least one mission done in my life, before he was taken away from home in late May 1989,' Bao said. 'Before [the crackdown of the] June 4 movement, I even quarrelled with him over Fang Lizhi's [political] views.' Fang was an outspoken astrophysicist and prominent human rights campaigner in the 1980s. He was also the vice-president of USTB, Bao Pu's alma mater. Fang was labelled as the 'black hand' of the June 4 movement, forcing him to hide in the US embassy in Beijing for more than a year after the crackdown. He is now a physics professor at the University of Arizona in the US. 'I supported Fang and student protesters' calls on greater freedom and democracy as we shared same legal and moral values, but my father had different views,' he said. 'Indeed, I didn't like politics or government officials in my days in Beijing because I was affected by physicist Albert Einstein's famous quote: 'Youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies'.' Bao said he now knew Einstein's real meaning. 'As a Jewish scientist, Einstein was very concerned about social and political problems since the second world war. His thinking and deeds told me that both scientists and politicians have the same mission - improving human life,' he said. In 1992, Bao studied international relations and public management at Princeton University in New Jersey, where he also made professional connections in public communications and marketing. He also joined the New York-based Human Rights in China organisation that year. 'I learned a lot of skills in dealing with the media after feeling overwhelmed by countless frustrations and a sense of failure while I worked with the [rights group]. I found that only good topics and good timing are the key elements to persuade my media friends to work with me.' Indeed, everything he learned in Beijing and the US paved the way for the publishing business in Hong Kong. To save costs, Bao and Chiang have worked at home since setting up New Century Press in 2000. Bao and Chiang have also had to make ends meet. In the four years they were preparing Zhao's book, Bao was a global positioning system engineer for a motor company. 'We've had to overcome a lot of difficulties in the past four years, but it's worth it to do something for such an historic event,' Bao said. 'I am glad, as I have done something in my life which was also the hope of my father. I have published 16 books so far, with Zhao's memoirs being the proudest thing I have ever done.'