Tiananmen Square re-revisited

Some Young Turk bloggers have seen fit lately to trash the protesters at Tiananmen Square, who included not only the students who started the protest but the doctors and policemen and Chinese citizens from all walks of life who saw the cause as noble enough to merit risking their own lives, and joining in. While I have acknowledged that the students were forming their own mini-politburo and had no organization or set goals and the whole thing was becoming a mess, it was nevertheless an outcry that resonated around the world with greater sonority than any other I’ve experienced in my entire lifetime. It was more forceful than the ebullient joy of the Europeans as they tore the Berlin Wall to the ground. It was greater than Nelson Mandela’s ascension to leadership in a land that had so recently treated its blacks as inferiors. In my entire life, I have never, ever seen anything as immensely moving and earthshattering as the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

I hadn’t planned to post about this. A reader of my site emailed and asked if I could help him find a copy of the famous photograph, above, of the anonymous man blocking a row of tanks, which I cited earlier. I found it along with an article in Time magazine that was so beautiful, so heartbreaking I simply found myself typing…. Here is how the article begins:

Almost nobody knew his name. Nobody outside his immediate neighborhood had read his words or heard him speak. Nobody knows what happened to him even one hour after his moment in the world’s living rooms. But the man who stood before a column of tanks near Tiananmen Square–June 5, 1989–may have impressed his image on the global memory more vividly, more intimately than even Sun Yat-sen did. Almost certainly he was seen in his moment of self-transcendence by more people than ever laid eyes on Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and James Joyce combined.

The meaning of his moment–it was no more than that–was instantly decipherable in any tongue, to any age: even the billions who cannot read and those who have never heard of Mao Zedong could follow what the “tank man” did. A small, unexceptional figure in slacks and white shirt, carrying what looks to be his shopping, posts himself before an approaching tank, with a line of 17 more tanks behind it. The tank swerves right; he, to block it, moves left. The tank swerves left; he moves right. Then this anonymous bystander clambers up onto the vehicle of war and says something to its driver, which comes down to us as: “Why are you here? My city is in chaos because of you.” One lone Everyman standing up to machinery, to force, to all the massed weight of the People’s Republic–the largest nation in the world, comprising more than 1 billion people–while its all powerful leaders remain, as ever, in hiding somewhere within the bowels of the Great Hall of the People.

Yes, the protest became a bickering, grandstanding mess. But that did not and never will detract from its fundamental magnificence. For all their jockeying and in-fighting, the students and those who joined them deserved better than to be shot in the back. Those who defend the government and criticise the students, to the point of implying they had it coming, remind me so much of old conversations I heard in NYC coffee houses defending Stalin and arguing how much good he had done for his country. Bullshit.

Yeah, I know this topic kicks my emotions into high gear. But that’s what blogging is for me, getting in touch with my strongest feelings and putting them “on paper” with as much honesty, accuracy and integrity as I can.

More posts about Tiananmen Square:
Tiananmen Square revisited
The story behind the Tiananmen Square “tank man” photo

Reappraising Tiananmen Square

The Discussion: 51 Comments

During 1989, I was a colleage student participating in that movement. To me, the right and wrong in that movement is just like day and night. Throughout chinese history, no ruler has dared to kill students during student movement. (One ruler did so and was forced to resign.)

Furthermore, in cultrual revolution, Mao once said, “anyone who suppressses student movement will not have good endings.”

Also, in chinese, we have a idom, called “law will not prosecute mass”. If you have lots of people, law can not get to you. I think this kind of background partly contribute to the escalation of the event.

My comments may be politically incorrect. My thought is that the ultimate goal is to prevent similar tragedy from occurring in next movement. Simply demonizing Deng’s decision will not help. Deng is a sharp and logic person. (For example, Deng fought for communism for his whole life and decided to abandon it in his eighties. Few people can make that U-turn when he is that old.) I think he truely wants china to be rich and strong.

September 14, 2003 @ 5:55 am | Comment

Steve, I agree that Deng wanted China to grow rich and strong, and his reforms changed China forever, mostly in a good way.

About preventing similar tragedies from happening again: In this respect, I think Deng succeeded. By showing the Chinese people he was willing to cut them down like animals and run them over with tanks, he succeeded in frightening perople so they would not try it again. Tragic, that he had to use brute force and murder his own citizens.

September 14, 2003 @ 6:03 am | Comment

Personally, I think the move towards economic advancement (and hence the abandoning of Communism) was mainly to detract attention away from the government.

The idea is to sastisfy China’s educated with economic reform, so that they enter a stage of political apathy; where as long as they are making enough money to support their materialism, nothing else really matters.
Which is quite the case now, so i feel ๐Ÿ™‚

October 13, 2003 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

Isabella, I think you are exactly right.

October 14, 2003 @ 12:49 am | Comment

I was there. The students had broad support from beijing-ren, Peking citizens… teachers, taxi drivers, retirees, factory workers, goverment workers, you name it. Every evening I walked to the Square from the Minzu Hotel a couple of hundred yards away and found people from all walks of life mingling and bringing little gifts to the kids in the tents. I had to pass by Zong Nan Hai where all the biggies have their compounds. The soldiers in front of this original gated community were ordered to sit cross legged in a line. The army did not want to appear threatening. Remember those pictures? In the days before the massacre, it was a remarkably exciting and peaceful scene with an overhanging gnawing unknown tension. The local attitude was best summed up by a white haired grandmother, “they are so loveable (ke ai)”. Everyone wanted something better, a quality of life, of society, not of money.

A note about the army… it was widely reported that the Beijing Commander would not accept orders to shoot on the students, and checked himself into the hospital. The divisions were brought in from far away and the soldiers were fed drugs.

———————-

Isabella is right. All these hundred names, what will they want today?

And since I jumped in here by chance from your column on the Chinese economic engine, what will befall all of us tomorrow?

October 27, 2003 @ 3:34 am | Comment

Matt, very interesting comment. Hope you can come by here again soon.

October 31, 2003 @ 11:26 am | Comment

In acknowledging the noble cause of the “tank man”, one should also be balance by acknowledging the people along the chain-of-command of the leading tank, their humanity. This might be “politically incorrect” and also the communist party line, but think about it.

December 22, 2003 @ 8:50 pm | Comment

Joshua, I absolutely have thought about it, and the driver of the tank deserves to be as much a hero as the Tank Man. (Unfortunately, the driver has no “face” unlike Tank Man.) As to chain of command, I don’t know and am inclined to disagree. It all happened way too fast and was over in a matter of seconds, so I doubt if there were orders coming down to the tank driver — he just followed his own humane instincts. One can only wonder what happened to him later on for doing so.

December 23, 2003 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

Richard, thank for reminding me of the time factor in this.

I should have read the linked Time magazine article.

Quoting the article:
“As one of the pro-democracy movement’s leaders said, the heroes of the tank picture are two: the unknown figure who risked his life by standing in front of the juggernaut and the driver who rose to the moral challenge by refusing to mow down his compatriot.”

Maybe this whole thing had been staged by the PLA to show its humane side.
(oops! Shouldnโ€™t be thinking out loud)

Use the “Video” link at the bottom to play a one-minute video of the event
http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/tiananmen/

December 24, 2003 @ 7:11 am | Comment

That guy is one brave guy i would never have the guts to do what he has done hope he’s alright.

February 13, 2004 @ 8:21 pm | Comment

I am doing a school assignment on psychology of the masses (riot/mob mentality) by focussing on the case study of Tiananmen. If you have any thoughts….???

March 28, 2004 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

i was born and raised in china. when this event happened, i was in middle school. till today, after reading hundreds of articles and seeing numerous pix, i still don’t believe that the soldiers started killing. with a mass demenstration like this, it is easy to errupt into disasters.

the western world hates communism and has brainwashed people to shun away from the communists (they have the same propoganda in china). this, to me, is wrong. the communism is a good “idea/goal” but it can never come true. it wants equal share of everything for every citizen. and we all know human beings are greedy creatures.

June 18, 2004 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

With so much unending attention to the events of 6/4, one would think that Tienamen was the only significant massacre that ever occurred in the world. Where’s the outrage over the Korean massacre of students in Kwangju in the early ’80s? Hundreds, perhaps thousands died at the hands of the police, with the collusion of the CIA. Nor do we read much of the massacre of suspected Chinese leftists during the hellish days of the 60’s in Indonesia, also with the collusion of the CIA. Where are the tributes to the massacred peasants of central america by the US funded rightwing death squads? There’s a pattern here.

July 30, 2004 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

cj, there’s a very simple answer to your question. For many weeks prior to the TS MAssacre, the eyes of the world were riveted on Beijing because of unprecedented media coverage. Those students were living, human being to all of us; we knew them. The other massacres may well have been much worse, but they didn’t occur in front of our eyes like TM, where we have thousands of photos and first-person testimonies. This is in no way amnesia. If the massacres of American Indians had been covered in a similar manner and preserved on videotape, there would be similar outrage. It’s not fair, but that’s what the media can do. Oh, one more thing: you’re a moron.

July 31, 2004 @ 10:52 am | Comment

Read this fast, because my posts will disappear very soon….. Demoicracy? Freedom of speech?

August 3, 2004 @ 1:35 am | Comment

cj, this site is not paid for by your tax dollars and it is not a democracy, so there is no guarantee of freedom of speech here. I pay for it and maintain it and allow comments as a courtesy. I almost never delete them — but if you attack the Tiananmen Square students the way you did, I will delete your comment. I will fight for your right to free speech — meaning, I will fight for your right to set up your own web site and say whatever you want. But I did not create this site to give you a microphone to attack the TSM victims. That’s one thing I do not allow here. Understand?

August 3, 2004 @ 9:10 am | Comment

hey richard… just looking at your replies to cj, couldn’t help wondering what exactly had he said! why not complete the discussion and let us see his views? i believe it is up to the individual’s maturity and experience to determine for themselves how biased (or moronic) are his comments. we can’t help it if ppl just choose to have different (unique, outstanding, unconventional…) ideas on a topic like this, but if you simply cut him off, then that’s pretty much embittered censorship, no?

alright, i’m just curious what he could have said to invoke your emotions. don’t give him the microphone; don’t censor him either!

August 17, 2004 @ 1:43 am | Comment

well,richard,i don’t know if you were lived in china,my great motherland.maybe you will never understand how the “mother” concered about her own children.she will take care every piece of you.mentally at most.you can never blame her even she did completed wrong.if you did,hehe,you will “chi bu le dou zhe zou”(which literal means you will take away all the food you ordered but you can’t eat’em up) but the real means for that is “you will have a big trouble” even a student write a letter to complain his school will be threaten to be kick out from the school.(or maybe it is not just a threaten)
you can’t complain.this is our only mother.and we shall never let any one to take her place.nobody likes to have a stepmother.isn’t it?

August 17, 2004 @ 10:53 am | Comment

Greg, certain statements aren’t allowed. I rarely delete comments, but if someone wants to come here and insult the students of 1989 they will have to find their own venue to do so. I pay for this site and I try to encourage free speech, but I have my own rules. If someone comes here and says John Kerry was a murderer or that the Tiananmen Square demonstrators were dangerous leftists or that Hitler was a good man, I don’t have to give them the space to reach my readers. I am a very strong advocate of free speech, and the wonderful thing is that these people can easily set up a web site to express their opinions.

Bob, yes, I lived in China and have a good knowledge of the incident and how people see it today. Mothers can be wrong and are not above criticism. I presented a long interview here expressing a Chinese demonstartor’s point of view that the Mother was right in 1989 — I respect that, although I disagree. Read it, and you will see I like to offer different viewpoints of Tiananmen. But if he had called the students bad things, I would not have published it. Be sure to read it.

August 18, 2004 @ 9:37 am | Comment

actually,i haven’t got a clear view about that.it is extremely hard to say.but,i will never forgot the smell of the burned vehicles,the moment i saw the soldier who were brutal killed,and the people lied on the wooden door.i still have no comment about all of that.
therefore,what i want to repeat is,and emphasize is,NO ONE COULD REPLACE THE …
you know that.even the chinese people themself.
maybe the 5000 years chinese history onle tought people one thing
to live on

August 19, 2004 @ 10:19 am | Comment

The Chinese man facing the tanks at least did not get squashed like Rachel Corrie who died under the Israeli tank. Curious that her death did incur the same outrage.

October 19, 2004 @ 10:45 am | Comment

Does anyone know the name and whereabouts of ‘tank man’? anyone have high quality pics of the event. i am doing a research paper, please respond. thanks

November 2, 2004 @ 5:47 am | Comment

the “tank man” wang wei lin was executed 14 days after he confronted the tanks.

November 12, 2004 @ 10:16 am | Comment

He was executed? I will believe you — just tell me how you know.

November 12, 2004 @ 10:27 am | Comment

Actually Rachel Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer, not a tank. She was protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home. Read about it here:

http://www.starhawk.org/activism/activism-writings/rachelcorrie.html

Also, I’ve been wondering as to what happened to “tank man” as well. I suspected that he was executed but I, too, wanted to know more so I googled it, this might be where “me” got her/his info:

http://www.weht.net/WEHT/Wang_Wei_Lin.html

Ta!

November 26, 2004 @ 8:43 am | Comment

hi, i am doing a term paper on Tiananmen Square. I was wondering about Hu Yaobang. First of all i know he was the main cause of these riots and the protestors, but what i didn’t understand is what are some examples of why the people of China loved him soo much, even though he was Communist. Also, another question is, did Hu Yaobang really die from a heart attack, or do you think the government had something to do with it? Just a thought. Any informtion will help. THANKS

February 23, 2005 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

I can’t understand how anyone can justify all that killing by making an analogy of Chinese Communist party to a mother. People lived in China for thousands of years before communist party even come to being. Looks like bob is really confused about the difference between China the civilization and China the communist state. Or the CCP just did too good of a job promoting itself.

April 21, 2005 @ 4:13 am | Comment

I think it is worth mentioning that the “Communism” of China and Russia wasn’t really communism in the sense of ordinary people having control over their lives, or any real equality. It was a Marxist-Leninist bureacracy that was “communist” in name only.

There’s always been an authoritarian left that has tended to persecute and repress the workers, peasants, students, and the libertarian left (anarchists) just as much as rightists/fascists do.

I don’t believe communism can truly work unless it is fused with liberty.

April 24, 2005 @ 2:58 am | Comment

Richard, I just wanted to thank you for standing up for those students. I feel that great changes in the world today were made because of people willing to stand up to those who would trod on them. I think the Chinese government does its best to squash the rights of people to speak out because of their own fear. And the reason that people from its own country condem those is because they have sold out to the government on their glorious promises of prosperity and this allows the government to beat and imprison its own children. This shows just how brainwashing and oppressive the government is. And those people who are from China or anywhere else in the world who would defend that type atrocity “Shame on you!” You should hang your head in shame when has murder ever become a right solution. Thats all I have to say.

June 13, 2005 @ 7:31 pm | Comment

Just to comment on Michael’s post, I couldn’t agree more. What type of mother kills their own children. If a mother did that to her own children we would put them on trial for murder. Oh, and maybe I got a little impassioned in my first post but I don’t take it back. I just hope they can lift their iron fist before another even worse trajedy comes to be. I still believe that the majority of the Chinese people know what is right in their hearts. I think that will decide the government’s fate.

June 13, 2005 @ 8:21 pm | Comment

Thanks a lot for your thoughtful comments, Jeremy – I appreciate them.

June 13, 2005 @ 8:30 pm | Comment

The man standing up to the tank is named “Wang” in the book Tiananmen: The Rape of Peking which was published in November 1989. That’s all I know.

I can see no difference between the rule of the CCP and imperial rule. It’s just another dynasty. Without the fancy clothes.

July 19, 2005 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

I could not agree more Waz. The cards may have changed their appearance but the game being played is the same. Every time I think about the things that government has done it makes me sad to think that those kids died and people ignore it. I don’t think I will ever forget seeing that student being tied down and beaten by the Chinese military. Something more sad than this is that this type of indecency happens more than at the Square. We just don’t see it because the Chinese government has control of the media and they hide their secrets well. If their are people here that don’t believe me the leader of China himself has declared that he will censor the Chinese internet and publications. There goes another freedom wake up over there!

August 16, 2005 @ 3:47 pm | Comment

First of all, I want to say this is a wonderful site. My wife told me the site a couple of weeks ago and ever since I have been hooked to it. – I know my wife is going to regret for telling me this because I have been spending all my spare time reading everything in it. But what can she do? She too loves Peking Duck!

I just want to put my two cents here regarding TM. I was one of those who participated in the first march from Tsinghua University to TM (well, we bicycled from Tsinghua to Beijing Normal University and then started real marching from there… We were very calculating) and stayed up the whole night. If you were gay man, you would love that night because we had to hug each other so tightly (againts my will, though) to fend off the Beijing’s chilly April night. No, you couldn’t hug the opposite sex at that time in public. – Sorry, I digressed. I want to say that we were very organized, disciplined and really wanted to show our unity and our earnest demand for democracy and for fair treatment of Hu YaoBang. I participated in a few marches later and stayed in TM for a few more days but the more I stayed, the less comfortable I felt about the way the student leaders handled the whole situation and less enthusiastic. They cared more about their own interests and used channels to stage their own “shows” rather than truly fought for what the students cared about. The final tragic confrontation with the army was in some way sown by them. I am not trying to exonerate the government’s ultimate responsibility in the killings, but I wonder what else the government could do in that chaotic situation caused by that small group of the student leaders. I remember some residents hijacked a army vehicles, killed two soilders, burned their bodies and hung them from a bridge when the army was marching towards the square. I cannot imagine what China would be like today if the government was overthrown at 89. I tend to believe that China would go back to the warlord state like the turn of the last century if there were no drastic ending to the 89 student movement.

October 26, 2005 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

First of all, I want to say this is a wonderful site. My wife told me the site a couple of weeks ago and ever since I have been hooked to it. – I know my wife is going to regret for telling me this because I have been spending all my spare time reading everything in it. But what can she do? She too loves Peking Duck!

I just want to put my two cents here regarding TM. I was one of those who participated in the first march from Tsinghua University to TM (well, we bicycled from Tsinghua to Beijing Normal University and then started real marching from there… We were very calculating) and stayed up the whole night. If you were gay man, you would love that night because we had to hug each other so tightly (againts my will, though) to fend off the Beijing’s chilly April night. No, you couldn’t hug the opposite sex at that time in public. – Sorry, I digressed. I want to say that we were very organized, disciplined and really wanted to show our unity and our earnest demand for democracy and for fair treatment of Hu YaoBang. I participated in a few marches later and stayed in TM for a few more days but the more I stayed, the less comfortable I felt about the way the student leaders handled the whole situation and less enthusiastic. They cared more about their own interests and used channels to stage their own “shows” rather than truly fought for what the students cared about. The final tragic confrontation with the army was in some way sown by them. I am not trying to exonerate the government’s ultimate responsibility in the killings, but I wonder what else the government could do in that chaotic situation caused by that small group of the student leaders. I remember some residents hijacked a army vehicles, killed two soilders, burned their bodies and hung them from a bridge when the army was marching towards the square. I cannot imagine what China would be like today if the government was overthrown at 89. I tend to believe that China would go back to the warlord state like the turn of the last century if there were no drastic ending to the 89 student movement.

October 26, 2005 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

The ‘Tank man’ now lives in the USA. I knew a guy in Nanchang who was with him in Tiananamen that day. He was lucky to get out, from what I understand. The guy in Nanchang was unable get employment anywhere in China thereafter and later, with the help of friends and modest capital started his own, highly successful English school.

December 13, 2005 @ 2:32 am | Comment

An acquaintance of mine recently emigrated to China, even though he always seemed to me the most politically and morally outspoken person I’ve known. I can’t imagine why or how he could be happy in a place where the men in charge gun you down in the streets for peacefully protesting. He rants about how much better life is in China than the US, how everyone takes care of everyone else, but who took care of the citizens in Tiananmen Square? How much care would my friend receive if he dared to criticize the powerful in his adopted country? He seems to want to argue these points with Americans back home, but I fear to take up the topic beacuse I don’t want the poor man to be killed or imprisoned. All I can bring myself to do is show him the picture of “Tank Man”, or the Unknown Citizen, as I think of him. When a brave and peaceful person like this is safe from his government, only then can I account China among my friends. Until that day, China must remain my enemy — an immoral, evil empire that brutally oppresses its victims.

Btw, is it still not possible for any given Chinese citizen to emigrate — i.e., are citizens still forbidden to leave? What can one say about a place where the citizens are forbidden to leave, except that it must by definition be a prison. What land or culture could possibly defend such practices. None. There is no excuse.

January 6, 2006 @ 1:20 pm | Comment

My son, a 7th grade gifted student, is doing a USA Nat’l History Day project on Tiananmen Sq. I’m just trying to help locate possible “primary” sources for him to contact by email. Any ideas? Anyone who was there and would be willing to respond to a few q’s? Thanks for you help! Some good discussion here. Stephen

January 28, 2006 @ 9:19 am | Comment

On my blogroll is a link to China Digital Times. Its editor, Xiao Qiang, was there and fled to the US after the crackdown.

January 28, 2006 @ 9:28 am | Comment

Thanks, Richard. I’ll try that. Any reaction to Google announcing it will “self-censor” its China-based search engine–removing such info as 1989 Tian Square?

January 28, 2006 @ 9:35 am | Comment

Scroll down my main page – I have quite a bit to say about it.

January 28, 2006 @ 9:38 am | Comment

Richard,
Thanks for leading my son, who is doing a 7th grade student project on Tiananmen Sq., to Xiao Qiang. He’s also heard from James Miles (BBC Beijing at the time), Ling Chai, Boli Zhang, and others. Still needs info on how many died during the protest and how many are still imprisoned. Can you help? Thanx, Stephen

February 1, 2006 @ 10:34 am | Comment

What impresses me most about this picture of a man standing infront of the tank is that the tank did not run him over. This fact is often censored by the Western press. The Western press often show this photo/video and stop the rest of the footage. The entire footage actually showed the tank commander opened his hatch and asked the man to step aside. When he did not step aside, the tank tried to meneuver around that man. That man walked over to block the tank again. The tank commander again told him to move aside. Then a passerby pulled the man to the side of the road. It must have been orders from the top that restrained the tank commander to run civilians over. I am very impressed both by the bravery of the lone protestor and the human compassion shown by the PLA Tank commander.

February 25, 2006 @ 2:30 am | Comment

Wrong. The Western press always showeed the tank veering away so as not to run over the young man. Many of the articles on this subject note there were two heroes – the young man and the tank driver (who was probably executed later for cowardice).

February 25, 2006 @ 3:35 am | Comment

Please help with any primary sources for the Jun 4 1989 Tiananmen square massacre.
Do you have any email addresses for the students like Wang Dan or any reporters who were there? I need them for a report I am doing on Tiananmen Square.
Thank you

February 25, 2006 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

PBS Frontline the Tank Man

April 11, 2006 @ 8:35 pm | Comment

Was wondering if anyone knew how long this went on. All of the exerpts are just that – excerpts. I’ve read (maybe here) 30 minutes, and then on Frontline, they say: a couple of minutes later.

Anyway, on who it might have been who led him away.

I’ve watched the video a few times, slowing it down with VLC player, and it seems to me that these people (as much as you wish that it weren’t) were indeed the Public Sec Bureau.

The first guy comes over on a bike and speaks to Tank Man, and after a moment Tank Man takes a few steps backwards – to me signs of fear or intimidation. Meanwhile two more guys come running over yelling at the tank, and BikeMan then leaves TankMan alone, as if he sees things are under control.

A fourth man comes from the direction the tanks are facing, while bikeman signals with two waves of his hand, as if to say, >.

A fifth guy then comes running into the screen who seems to be making a gesture that says > but it could also be get out of here!

The most telling is the two or three steps backward, however. This guy is facing down tanks, and then someone whispers in his ear and he is all of the sudden backing up? They probably just told him he was being arrested, and would be shot very soon, and his actions dawned on him.

The Frontline show is amazing – watch.

April 17, 2006 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

I have found all of this extremly interesting, I too have had the print of the tank man in my home for many years and it has reminded me of the fredoms we have and shouldn’t take for granted. I just visited Tiananmen square and I was with a tour guide, I ask the tour guide about the student uprising, my guide acted surprised that I knew about it, and said it is forbidden to talk about and that we could be arrested if we spoke about it. He went on to tell me that undercover agents were now posted on the square. I was very surprised that this man that leads tours through Beijing on a regular basis was under the impression that the student protests were not known around the world.

May 15, 2006 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

To the above james,

Chinee citizens are allowed to leave whenever they want. They do however, need to get permission to leave, following same format as in the U.S., as well as permission from the US or other countries to emigrate. In fact, of the many people who apply for visas to the US, the US accepts only a small fraction.
Rarely have I heard of anyone being denied the right to leave by the Chinese government. That was used however after Tiananmen for a few months, but after that everyone was allowed to leave as they wished again.

Your comment spoke volumes about the propaganda released by the western world about Chinese policies, which is just as false and misleading as chinese propaganda, perhaps more so since it operate under the veneer of “fair and balanced” and “free,” which it is neither.

October 8, 2006 @ 6:51 am | Comment

I will also commit the fallacy of “Tu quoque” here, which I think is unfortunately necessary to remind readers and anyone researching tiananment square like I am that the crackdowns were not restrcited only to China. There have been many crackdowns in the “free” world as well, such as Kent State etc. The man who pointed that out CJ, was blasted by “Richard” as a “moron.”

There is also the spin that Tiananmen is a restricted topic in China. Unfortunately, it is not. It has been featured many times in chinese newspapers (who may mention it in the same tone as a Kent State mention in the US, which is to say, relatively light).

Critics of china need to put everything in perspective, and preach what they teach. If they wish for the ability for everyone to be able to condemn everything, then they should open up that condemnation to anything that they might love as well, and not decide only certain things are open to condemnation, and the rest undebatable.

October 8, 2006 @ 7:03 am | Comment

James, you are an ass (with respect). No topic in the history of the US was ver as intensely covered and discussed, even to this day, as Kent State. You are wrong. You are ignorant or lying. To compare it with TS is deranged, It dominated the news day and night for weeks and is still a red-hot topic. Books have been written about it. Investigations were held publicly, imediately. No comparison. Know what you’re talking about or shut up.

October 8, 2006 @ 9:02 am | Comment

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