2 June 2019   Leave a comment

Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of the suppression of the protests in Tiananmen Square, China. The protests in 1989 were for greater political freedoms and they went on for several days, and protests were held in many other cities in China. But on 4 June, military units were sent in to disperse the protesters and in the end many were killed, although the Chinese government has never provided any final details. Virtually all reports about the protests are heavily censored and most Chinese born since that time know very little about the protests. But on Sunday, the Chinese defense minister, Wei Fenghe, made a rare public comment about the protests:

“‘Throughout the 30 years, China under the Communist Party has undergone many changes — do you think the government was wrong with the handling of June 4? There was a conclusion to that incident. The government was decisive in stopping the turbulence.’

“He added that China’s development since 1989 showed that the government’s actions were justified.

“The Tiananmen protests were ‘political turmoil that the central government needed to quell, which was the correct policy,’ he said.

“‘Due to this, China has enjoyed stability, and if you visit China you can understand that part of history.'”

One of the leaders of the protests, Wang Dan, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times. It is a powerful perspective which ends with hope:

“Thirty years ago, a short-lived movement catapulted me into the public eye, turning me from a shy, bookish student of history into a passionate and idealistic leader of several million protesters. For that, I paid a hefty price. In addition to spending a better part of my youth in prison, I am not allowed to return to my native country, where my ailing parents live. Yet, as painful as this is, I don’t regret my choices.”

I have no doubts that at some point in the future, the protests wil prove to have been prophetic.

Posted June 2, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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