Thursday, June 5, 2014

Twenty-five years ago

Who could ever forget this picture or the news we all woke to that day? The Chinese army was moving into Tiananmen Square and its tanks were squashing, quite literally, the peaceful protests of people who thought that China, too, ought to be moving towards some kind of democracy?

What happened to tank man? We do not know. Here are a few stories and speculations. I have always assumed that he was imprisoned, humiliated and executed but, it seems, that may not be the case. Perhaps, one day we shall find out.

All the media is or will be writing about it so I need to put up only a few links. The Wikipedia account is a good starting point; the BBC has put up a gallery of pictures; the Independent has an account of how it all happened; and a reminder that protests in China in 1989 were not confined to Beijing but had swept the country, though you would never know from the silence that has surrounded those events in the country since then.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has moved fast to silence all remembrances and arrest several prominent dissidents (mostly re-arrest) but in Hong Kong, the crowds turned out in force. Not that we in the West have much to feel smug about, not when one reads stories about such sites as LinkedIn going beyond China's censorship rules in a crazy effort not to upset that government.

The last word in this posting must go to The Onion: Chinese Citizens Observe 25-Year Moment Of Silence For Tiananmen Square Massacre. As one reply said: brutal but true.

1 comment:

  1. Not forgetting our own, dear Sir Edward Heath who supported the Chinese government (for which, I believe, he did consultancy).
    "What about democracy, Sir Edward?" asked a reporter.
    "How can you have democracy in a country of a thousand million?" retorted Heath, scornfully.

    Or of 500 million in the EU too?