20 years after Tiananmen

_45736544_tankOn 3-4 June 1989 hundreds, possibly thousands, of people were massacred in Beijing when their democracy protest was crushed by the Chinese state.

What’s the legacy of Tiananmen?

Do people in China have more freedom now?  Or like Liu Suli thinks, in going for economic growth did they sell out freedom for a car and a bigger apartment instead?

Does the fact journalists are banned today and Tiananmen is not taught in schools mean it was a pointless sacrifice?

And after 20 years, no one really knows what happened to ‘tank man’…

7 Responses to “20 years after Tiananmen”

  1. 1 Morf
    June 4, 2009 at 16:40

    I was living in Beijing for the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen “events”. At that time, Tiananmen Square was being “restored” and was therefore sealed off. All international internet news sites were blocked and not a word was spoken on the Chinese news media.

    Fortunately (at least for the Chinese government) the USA and NATO bombed the People’s Republic of China embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese “journallists”. This continuing news story of Western violence and imperialism was much more visceral and compelling than the uglier side of China’s domestic policies.

    Even now, we can count on some other pressing international news to overshadow
    Tiananmen’s legacy.

    June 4, 2009 at 18:45

    China is a free socialist/communist state. Tiananmen Square masacre was born out of an attempted civil undermining of state values when the country was in its own path of economic reforms. A country cannot be everything recommended by others without loss of identy and relevance. Right now the country wants its subject to toe the official line. American democracy is out of choice. They should respect the choices made by others and dictation from American leadership to the Chinese government is out of place.
    Despite its failings, China has transformed itself into a mordern state economically and has handled corruption in leadership competently. There are changes coming in piecemeal with successive changes in leadership and the ordinary citizens need to be patient. Democracy is good but one should not conclude that it has served everywhere perfectly. In democratic terms, some countries in Africa are older than China but we cannot say honestly that the system has served Africa well. As president Obama has pointed out, there is no perfect form of government that can suit every place in the globe. Chinese people should evolve with their state.

  3. 3 Nikolay
    June 4, 2009 at 19:08

    Some questions to western media.
    Why such a CONSTANT stress on “Tienanmen” and CONSTANT oblivion of massacre in Kwandju, e.g.? Number of killed was approximately the same, but S.Korea is many times smaller!
    Why Mrs Clinton wants to know the names of killed in Beijing, but not of a million of communists and sympatizers massacred in Indonesia?
    Why such a stress on Beijing students only? In events of May-April 1989 in China took part millions of people.
    Why so many cry about Beijing and no one never remembers how “your son of the bitch” shelled our parliament in Moscow and killed hundreds of people in Moscow streets? (unlike China, it was his coup d’etat by the way!)
    There good our murderers and bad not our murderers?

  4. 4 Roberto
    June 4, 2009 at 23:39

    RE “” What’s the legacy of Tiananmen? “”

    ————— The legacy was a minor protest was crushed with only a few thousand deaths at most, thus preserving communist power without the need to crush the previous tens of millions Chinese citizens in the first decades of the “Revolution.”

    In the short term they’re getting more efficient at wielding power. In the long term, a new revolution will happen with the usual bloody results because mankind can never have good governance for more than a blip in time because of greed.

  5. June 6, 2009 at 12:12

    The Chinese authorities committed an act of madness in Tianamen Square. And that brave man in the photo was killed later. Nevertheless, I am sure the Chinese people will find their place in the sun one day. Their history has much wisdom and achievement.

  6. 7 globalcomedy
    June 6, 2009 at 19:08

    In a sense, China and the States both have problems with double standards and denial.

    The Chinese press censored the truth about Tiananmen Square. The States MSM censors any protest about Iraq, Afghanistan. Or universal health care. The Chinese have their own form of democracy. The States tells China that the only “true” democracy is American democracy.

    The Chinese govt. uses torture. Obama says that the States doens’t use torture. Then why won’t the govt. investigate and prosecute war criminals that did this? In that sense, we’re just as guilty as China is.

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