(Trying Not to) Remember Tiananmen

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© 1989 Hei Han Khiang

© 1989 Hei Han Khiang

It seems Chinese authorities were busy today. While people around the world commemorated the 20th anniversary of the pro-democracy demonstrations and ensuing massacre at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, police reportedly swarmed into the sqaure, in order to nip any potential protest in the bud. Numerous websites were blocked, including Twitter, Hotmail, and Flickr, along with many Chinese blogs and other sites. A former Tiananmen protester was sent on a government-sponsored “vacation” to keep him from carrying out a hunger strike.

Although the Chinese government seems to be doing all it can to help people forget about the people who died in the massacre, that didn’t stop 150,000 people from attending a vigil in Hong Kong, and it didn’t stop supporters in Washington, DC, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from speaking out about human rights in China.

Regardless of what one thinks of the demands the protesters were making 20 years ago today, no one can deny that there was a massacre, and nothing can justify killing peaceful protesters. The country may have come a long way economically since 1989, but China’s human rights record still leaves a lot to be desired.

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2 thoughts on “(Trying Not to) Remember Tiananmen

  1. I spoke to a Chinese doctor this weekend. He is 31 years old. He is a bright and clever scientist, living in Belgium for three years now. He is not a supporter of the Communist Party. But… And now comes the unbelievable part of the story…
    He knew that there were students protesting on the Tienanmen square in 1989, but he doesn't know why… I told him they wanted more rights, more freedom. He just doesn't understand why the West is so concerned about this student "uprise"… I responded that 'the West' is so concerned because students were killed during and after the protest against the communist government. His answer: "Who told you that there were students killed, there is no proove of that." And: "The BBC and CNN tell a lot of lies about China, they even use fake images and photos to harm China…" Unbelievable! I guess a lot of Chinese people still deny the fact that students were killed, tortured, put in jail, … To this Chinese doctor the 'story' of the student 'uprise' is used in the West to attack China. Yeah right, just ignore what our free media says and keep on thinking (dreaming) that the state controlled media of China is the only one in the whole world who knows the 'thruth' about the student protests. That would make me laugh it was not the sad reality of the ignorance among Chinese young people about the student protests. Let us hope that one day in the near future the Chinese people will be able to see, read and understand what really happened in 1989 on Tienanmen square.

  2. I spoke to a Chinese doctor this weekend. He is 31 years old. He is a bright and clever scientist, living in Belgium for three years now. He is not a supporter of the Communist Party. But… And now comes the unbelievable part of the story…
    He knew that there were students protesting on the Tienanmen square in 1989, but he doesn’t know why… I told him they wanted more rights, more freedom. He just doesn’t understand why the West is so concerned about this student “uprise”… I responded that ‘the West’ is so concerned because students were killed during and after the protest against the communist government. His answer: “Who told you that there were students killed, there is no proove of that.” And: “The BBC and CNN tell a lot of lies about China, they even use fake images and photos to harm China…” Unbelievable! I guess a lot of Chinese people still deny the fact that students were killed, tortured, put in jail, … To this Chinese doctor the ‘story’ of the student ‘uprise’ is used in the West to attack China. Yeah right, just ignore what our free media says and keep on thinking (dreaming) that the state controlled media of China is the only one in the whole world who knows the ‘thruth’ about the student protests. That would make me laugh it was not the sad reality of the ignorance among Chinese young people about the student protests. Let us hope that one day in the near future the Chinese people will be able to see, read and understand what really happened in 1989 on Tienanmen square.