Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tiananmen Square: When, for one moment, the honour of one billion people rested on the shoulders of one man

I confess, I failed this year to commemorate the Chinese government’s massacre of protestors in Tiananmen Square this week in 1989–-and the one inspiring moment of that day when, for one moment, the honour of one billion people rested on the shoulders of one man:


China today is not the place it was in 1989, and nor is the Chinese Government the same, but the Chinese government still desperately wants to airbrush away the memory of their massacre.

But to the frustration of their internet censors, it’s the meme that will not die.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, China is not the same place as it was in 1989 but neither is it particularly free. Other than the occasional show trial like that of Gu Kailai, any public questioning of the corrupt, authoritarian government results in imprisonment without trial, as with Ai Weiwei (and his imprisonment was mercifully brief only because of the international outcry).

    The question that should be asked is whether the response of the CCP and PRA to another mass protest would be any different today? I think the response of the authorities to the more recent Xinjiang uprising makes it obvious that the answer is, no, it wouldn't.

    Having said all that, my experience, having visited China in recent years, is that it is a surprisingly open place. People can and do criticise the government, at least individually and in small groups, with no fear of any response from the authorities. Of course, I am sure the response to larger and more public shows of dissidence would more fearsome.

    Actually for me, post-911 America is a place where the average person fears their government much more than in China.


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