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China resumes ignoring Tiananmen after celebrating the massacre

Mainstream English-language government propaganda outlets in China completely ignored the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre over the weekend, a throwback to a standard Beijing weeded out in 2019 when it began celebrating mass murder in following the rise of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

The 2019 anti-communism protests drawing millions to Hong Kong have died down after two years of violent crackdowns and the implementation of an illegal ‘national security’ law that imposes sentences of at least 10 years imprisonment for those found guilty of “calls for foreign interference”. “, “incitement to secession”, “subversion of state power” or “terrorism”.

Under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy nominally in place, laws such as the “national security” regulations passed by Beijing’s National People’s Congress (NPC) should not apply to Hong Kong. , but city police enforced it anyway, prompting a mass exodus of pro-democracy activists.

Hong Kong police again this week banned a candlelight vigil for victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the third time since claiming to shut it down to prevent coronavirus infections in 2020. Ahead of 2020, the park Hong Kong’s Victoria was home to the largest memorial event for Tiananmen victims in the world, held continuously since 1990.

The Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4, 1989 was a violent crackdown by the Communist Party against peaceful protesters, mostly students, in Beijing’s eponymous square. Protesters, inspired by the slow fall of the Soviet Union and demonstrations on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, took to the streets to demand democratic reforms in China. The protests largely consisted of marching and holding up symbols like the “Goddess of Democracy” statue, which Chinese police destroyed.

No definitive toll exists for the Tiananmen Square massacre, but experts believe thousands of people were killed, both on the streets – footage successful, the military ran over protesters with tanks – and in hospitals after the initial police attack.

The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, did not mark the date of June 4 this year by acknowledging the occasion on its English-language website. the world timesChina’s leading English-language newspaper, nor China Daily or the official Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese government had not addressed the Tiananmen Square massacre at all until 2019 – the 30th anniversary of the event – and heavily censors online searches to ensure its citizens cannot see the bloody images of this daytime. In 2019, however, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe celebrated the massacre during a speech in Singapore.

“This incident was political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence, which is correct policy,” he said. “The 30 years have proven that China has undergone major changes. China has experienced stability and development.”

Wei encouraged those disgusted by the killing of peaceful protesters to “visit China” to “understand” the event better.

The world times also published an article that year, calling the massacre a “political success”.

“We consider this practice a political success, although some have criticized it from an information governance perspective. Having merely afflicted China once, the incident has not become a long-term nightmare for the country,” the official said. Time claims. “The anniversary of the incident was never placed in the teeth of the storm either. It became a faded historical event, rather than an actual entanglement.

The world times acknowledged that, had it not been for the massacre of protesters, the Chinese Communist Party might have “collapsed” in 1989.

In 2021, after the crackdown on the Hong Kong memorial, Chinese propagandists stepped up their celebrations of the massacre. Hu Xijin, then editor of the world times, compared the 1989 pro-democracy protests to the January 2021 Capitol Riot, warning Americans, “The US crackdown on the Capitol Rioters happened not too long ago. If you want to condemn “state violence,” first condemn Capitol repression. »

In the pages of Timethe editors of the state propaganda media celebrated that during the massacre, “the Party used all resources to ensure that the fundamental political system of the country was unshakeable and safeguarded the stability of the country to create an ideal environment for reform and development”.

Another article called the massacre a “political vaccine” – comparing it to experimental Chinese coronavirus vaccines then making their world debut – against China becoming a free society.

“Tiananmen Square embodies the Chinese people’s confidence and pride in the country’s politics, and it is a symbol of China’s unity as well as the country’s growing independence and prosperity,” the official said. world times affirmed. “We laugh at these ‘memorial’ activities and political stunts orchestrated by outside forces.”

Reports prior to Saturday said Chinese authorities had to force pro-democracy dissidents under house arrest or disappear to prevent the Tiananmen Square massacre memorials from happening within the country’s borders, in addition to police crackdowns in Hong Kong. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), “dozens” of known activists have been banned from leaving their homes. At least one human rights lawyer was forced to take a “vacation” to ensure he wasn’t in Beijing for the anniversary.

A member of the Tiananmen Mothers’ Group – which honors massacre victims by visiting the cemetery every year – told RFA she was banned from speaking to the media, but the regime would allow mothers to quietly visit their children. . the cemetery on Saturday.

In Hong Kong, where police began banning the Tiananmen Memorial that draws tens of thousands of people each year to Victoria Park in 2020, police have warned residents not to ‘test the limits’ of police action by appearing in any way to mourn the Tiananmen dead in public. Hong Kong’s outgoing chief executive Carrie Lam explicitly suggested ahead of the anniversary that observing it could violate China’s “national security” law. In 2020, thousands of Hong Kong residents ‘illegally’ attended the Victoria Park vigil but, as dissidents fled the city to Taiwan and other free societies, no such protests took place. This year.

Police reportedly terrorized residents who seemed in any way potentially honoring the date.

“People were arrested and wanted for wearing flowers, wearing black and, in one case, carrying a toy tank trunk,” Agence France Presse (AFP) reported. “Five men and one woman, aged between 19 and 80, were arrested during the day, Hong Kong police said.”

Taiwan held what appears to be the largest Tiananmen memorial in the world over the weekend, welcoming many pro-democracy dissidents from Hong Kong. Taipei on Saturday unveiled a replica of the “Pillar of Shame” statue, a tower commemorating the dead Chinese police in Hong Kong disappeared from its longtime location in that city.

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