Tiananmen Square: Two Decades Later

In China, Commentary, Foreign Affairs, History, human rights on June 4, 2009 by Editor Z

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the protests in Tiananmen Square that caught the eyes of the world, as Chinese students and protesters rose up to demand freedoms from the Communist government. The Chinese government still denies the extent of the repression and brutality that took place despite the images broadcast around the world. Now the government is blocking off the site where the protests that shook China occurred to prevent any demonstrations,activists have been harassed, and Internet social networking sites, video sites, and some blogs have been blocked for so-called ” technical maintenance”. The government still shys from taking any official public accounting of what unfolded in June of 1989.

Well in the past twenty years, while the Chinese have made tremendous strides towards economic development and a more capitalistic (some would say laizze Faire in terms of deregulation) Free Market economy; freedoms of speech, expression, political rights, religious worship, and a government that heeds the rule of law and will of its governed still fall short. Some things I guess, just never seem to change. Furthermore this is Proof that capitalistic Free Market capitalistic economies and democracies aren’t necessarily one in the same.

New York Times:

BEIJING — China blanketed Tiananmen Square with police officers Thursday, determined to prevent any commemoration of the 20th anniversary of a military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that left hundreds dead.

Visitors to the sprawling plaza in central Beijing were stopped at checkpoints and searched, and foreign television crews and photographers were firmly turned away. Uniformed and plainclothes officers, easily identifiable by their similar shirts, seemingly outnumbered tourists.

A few pursued television cameramen with opened umbrellas trying to block their shots — a comical dance that was broadcast on CNN and BBC. There was no flicker of protest. Other than the intense police presence and the government’s blockage of some popular Internet services, the scorchingly hot day passed like any other in the capital.

The scene was vastly different in Hong Kong, where throngs gathered at a park here on Thursday evening for an enormous, somber candlelight vigil to mark the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square killings.

The organizers said that 150,000 people joined the vigil, tying the record set by the first anniversary vigil in 1990 and dwarfing every vigil held since then. The police estimated the crowd at 62,800, their largest estimate for any vigil except in 1990, which they put at 80,000.

Regarding the Chinese government, this charade to deny the full extent of such a high profile incident, which so many Chinese citizens took par in, that the whole world witnessed, and is so well documented in terms of television footage and published accounts; seems just as futile as trying to win a wrestling match with the ocean. One can try, but sooner or later the forces you are up against are destined to prevail. The Chinese would be wise to step foreword as Secretary Clinton has said,to give a full accurate accounting that could be a step in ameliorating the divide between the Chinese government and the people.



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