Monday, June 1, 2009

A Sign of Change?

The government has never officially acknowledged its responsibility for the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Every year foreign media look for any signs of change in the status quo but it has always been the same.

However, today the Global Times published an article called "Evolution of Chinese intellectuals' thought over two decades" and in it, it mentions the "June 4 Incident" -- probably the first time in a long time in Chinese state media.
The story talks about how in the 1980s intellectuals were gung-ho about the west, "an era of enlightenment on democracy for intellectuals," said Xiao Gongqin, a history professor at Shanghai Normal University.

But after the "June 4 Incident broke out in 1989 and after that intellectuals in China 'switched to silence', according to Zhang Liping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The mention of this paragraph has been reported in foreign media, which makes one wonder if this means the government is willing to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
We will have to see in the next few days...
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the only city on the mainland where the Tiananmen Square massacre is remembered every year, former General Party Secretary Zhao Ziyang's memoirs Prisoner of the State are selling like hotcakes.
The English version was released a week earlier, but it's the Chinese version that has people excited, mostly because it's transcribed from Zhao's own words.
Those hoping to smuggle copies across the border may want to think twice, as border staff have been instructed to check those coming in from Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, it was heartening to see the city held a march on the weekend remembering the massacre and no doubt there will be a candlelight vigil held in Victoria Park on Thursday.

Last Wednesday, the University of Hong Kong released a poll saying that 69 percent of Hong Kongers felt the crackdown was a mistake, and 61 percent thought the Chinese government should stop condemning the protests. The survey was conducted earlier last month based on random telephone interviews with 1,011 people.

Like others around the world, Hong Kong people were shocked by what happened 20 years ago; many are still wary of the Chinese government and its track record.

We can only hope the Chinese government will recognize what it did 20 years ago. With more mounting evidence and testimony, and bolder calls for accountability, how can it escape the truth?

1 comment:

Kai Sun said...

Don't know what premier Wan gia-bao thinks when he sees the picture showing him behind Zhao ziyang at Tiananmen urging the students to go home. Luckily he did not get purged and promoted to his high position of power today.