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Lest we forget the Tiananmen Square Massacre on 4th June 1989

By Chin Jin - posted Tuesday, 4 June 2024

The bloody massacre that took place on June 4, 1989, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, marks its 35th anniversary. The ancient Chinese poet Du Fu once wrote, "It is rare for a person to live to seventy." If seventy years is considered a long life, this massacre has now lasted for half of an average person's lifetime. We remember it every year, commemorate it every year; it never needs to be recalled because it will never be forgotten.

That large-scale democratic movement provided the Chinese Communist Party with an excellent opportunity to peacefully transition from a revolutionary party to a ruling party. It also offered China a possible attempt to gradually transition from autocracy to democracy. At that time, the young students did not make any demands regarding the CCP's power itself. Their demands were solely for freedom of the press and speech, expressing dissatisfaction only with the corruption among the CCP elite.

The interest of young students in national affairs was largely due to the enlightened thinking and reformist spirit of two successive CCP General Secretaries, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. However, CCP elders, represented by Chen Yun, believed that the students' calls for freedom and democracy challenged the very foundation of CCP rule. Consequently, the hardliner Deng Xiaoping ordered the violent suppression of the democratic movement. While this temporarily stabilized the regime, the opportunities that the democratic movement presented to both the CCP and China were lost.


The wound of history is still bleeding. China continues to pay a heavy price for the crackdown 35 years ago. The issues that the students demanded the CCP to address at that time did not disappear due to the suppression; instead, they have accumulated over history. The crackdown made the CCP government's perceived legitimacy even more fragile in the eyes of the people. Many say that the CCP lost its legitimacy because of the "June 4th" crackdown. I have always disagreed with this view.

The CCP regime forcibly seized power from the Republic of China with the policy support of the U.S. Democratic administration and the blatant military intervention of the Soviet Union. Claiming legitimacy for something taken by force is itself absurd and laughable.

Moreover, the Chinese people never had the opportunity to question the legitimacy and effectiveness of the CCP's governance. Objectively speaking, since 1949, the Chinese people have tacitly accepted a new regime imposed on them, thus the existence of the CCP regime at most holds a semblance of reasonableness. However, in the minds of the Chinese people, this reasonableness was significantly damaged by the "June 4th" crackdown.

What is reasonable is real, and what is real is reasonable. It can be asserted that if there were to be another political upheaval, the CCP would find itself in a difficult position, unable to save itself. At that time, the Chinese people would not be as compliant as they were in 1989 and might very well seize the opportunity to overturn the CCP's rule.

When we observe the massacre 35 years ago within the context of the global landscape, it becomes clear that Deng Xiaoping's drastic measures to maintain the CCP's rule and power were met with tacit acceptance by then U.S. President Bush. Although the CCP briefly faced diplomatic isolation, Deng Xiaoping's resoluteness prevailed over the weak and short-sighted West.

We must also clarify that the 75 years of suffering endured by the Chinese people under the CCP's iron rule were not the choice of the Chinese people but were imposed on them by U.S. Democrat Harry Truman and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. This imposition began with President Roosevelt's betrayal and sellout of wartime ally the Republic of China at the Yalta Conference, which allowed Stalin to occupy Northeast China. Truman's China policy further aided the CCP in sweeping across the entire Chinese mainland, plunging the Chinese people into the horrors and ravages of communism.


Today, we remember June 4th. Although we commemorate it every year, we must clearly recognize the harsh reality: its impact on changing China's existing autocratic system is extremely minimal, resonating only with a small, determined minorityof Chinese democracy campaigners. The struggle between the Chinese people and the CCP is akin to a battle between humans and beasts, a war between people and demons, with almost no chance of success or victory. Despite this, we continue to pursue the day when the Chinese people can free themselves from the CCP's brutal autocratic rule with the perseverance of Jingwei Reclamation (Jingwei trying to fill the sea) and the determination of "Foolish Old Man Moves Mountains".

Under Xi Jinping's leadership for the past 12 years, China's national conditions have been regressing at an unprecedented speed and scale. The achievements of forty years of economic reform have been completely eroded. Politically, the country is experiencing a "Cultural Revolution 2.0," reminiscent of Mao Zedong's era. Social morals have decayed, and the collapse of Chinese society and the sudden fall of the CCP's autocratic regime seem imminent. This represents a political opportunity for significant change in China.

Coincidentally, the world is also beginning to regress and retreat. The United States, once a post-war beacon of democracy, freedom, and civilization respected and admired worldwide, has morally collapsed. Justice in the world is severely lacking, and the world is rapidly plunging into an abyss. This outcome is a result of the global trend, driven by the development and evolution of the world socialist and communist movements, spurred by malevolent forces, beyond human ability to reverse.

Where is the world headed? There is a sense that God has already issued a warning. If humanity does not awaken and change its course, the angry God may once again unleash a great flood to prevent human depravity.


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About the Author

Dr Chin Jin is a maverick, activist, campaigner, essayist, freelancer, researcher and organizer with the vision to foresee a new post-Chinese Communist regime era that will present more cooperatively, more constructively and more appropriately to the Asia Pacific region and even the world.

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