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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Remembering the Tiananmen Massacre: June 4, 1989

This will be a short blog before I take a little break for a few days.

This week marks 16 years since the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Yes, my friends, it was a massacre.

The story a nutshell, was a culmination of decades and decades of oppressive communism.

On April 15, 1989, disgraced Communist Party chairman Hu Yao-bang passed on. He was a liberal reformer ousted in 1987 for not halting student demonstrations for democracy and human rights. His death triggered peaceful marches and protests from Beijing university students, who had largely viewed him as silent revolutionary in the Red party regime. They danced and debated politics in Tiananmen Square, and even erected the now famous ‘Goddess of Democracy’.

Supreme party leader Deng Xiaoping decided to take no shit. On May 20, martial law was declared. He ordered soldiers with machine guns, tear gas, tanks, shells, armoured vehicles to disperse the crowd.

The protesters resisted, retaliating with rocks and Molotov cocktails. They sincerely believed it was time to take a stand against the corrupt government and start a revolution to reforms. They thought they could succeed.

They were wrong.

On the night of June 3, soldiers opened fire on their fellow brothers with AK-47s, and tanks fired openly at the crowd, running over the students and innocent by-standers.

By the morning of June 4, 5000 were dead, and the square was swept clean. Hundreds and thousands are still kept in prison and torture camps or exiled to this day.

Beijing then declared victory against "counter-revolutionary insurgents".

The world reacted with shock and horror. Beijing ignored them and stood firm.

Now 16 years later, many people have forgotten. Or led themselves to believe that China is now a more politically open country than in 1989.


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  • I read a book by a lady who had first hand experience in China's Cultural Revolution. Been looking for the same sort of book (on his/her experience) on the Tiananmen Massacre but it seems like I'm outa luck coz I can't seem to find it anywhere.

    By Blogger wildcharm, at 6/01/2005 03:20:00 pm  

  • Yes, I remembered that event very well. I was in college at the time, and was following the news very closely via newspapers and magazines. When the end came, I was completely shocked by the response of the Chinese government.

    Although I totally opposed what the government did (and still do), as I grew older I also came to appreciate the fact that China being a such a large and complex country, a breakdown of the Communist government's grip would have spelt chaos. Witness the fighting and bloodshed that happened after Yugoslavia and the USSR disintegrated.

    We continue to live in an imperfect world, and can only look to the Higher One above to set things right.

    By Blogger Pat, at 6/01/2005 03:45:00 pm  

  • wildcharm - by any chance was the earlier book you mentioned by Lynn Pan?

    Pat - Well said.

    By Blogger Simon, at 6/01/2005 03:50:00 pm  

  • Which is more famous ah? The Tiananmen Massacre or the Nanking Massacre ah?

    By Blogger Mango Tan, at 6/01/2005 04:29:00 pm  

  • i think the younger ppl will remember the tiananmen better since it was shown on TV almost everyday. the nanking one happen in the 30's, so probably the older ppl remember it, and also the chinese educated.

    By Blogger Simon, at 6/01/2005 04:40:00 pm  

  • I have one by Lynn Pan and another by Nien Cheng

    By Blogger wildcharm, at 6/01/2005 06:07:00 pm  

  • i bought Lynn Pan's sbook for a present to a friend, but i haven't read it. One day if i have some money i'll definitely read that one. What's the book by Nien CHen called, wildcharm?

    By Blogger Simon, at 6/01/2005 08:19:00 pm  

  • Life & Death in Shanghai. The lady is still alive today and boy does she look healthy from the pictures I saw. She's 90 year old already.

    By Blogger wildcharm, at 6/02/2005 02:12:00 am  

  • ok i'll look out for it the next time i'm at borders/mph.

    By Blogger Simon, at 6/03/2005 06:29:00 pm  

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