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 Post subject: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 11:27 am 
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Zhao Ziyang, the former Communist Party leader, has spoken from beyond the grave to break two decades of official silence on the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 with a wide-ranging attack on the Chinese political system

By Peter Foster in Beijing

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... grave.html

In extracts from a secretly recorded memoir, the purged general-secretary denounced the decision to send in the tanks and rebuked his party for failing to embrace the democracy which he claimed was an essential companion to economic reform.

Published four years after his death Zhao, a reformist who pleaded with China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to take a softer line with the protesting students, described the killings as a "tragedy".

Recalling the moment he finally knew his efforts to prevent bloodshed were in vain, Zhao wrote: "On the night of June 3, while sitting in the courtyard with my family, I heard intense gunfire. A tragedy to shock the world had not been averted, and was happening after all."

He goes on to call for the introduction of democracy in China to rectify the country's social problems.

"It is the Western parliamentary democratic system that has demonstrated the most vitality," says Zhao. "If we don't move toward this goal, it will be impossible to resolve the abnormal conditions in China's market economy."

The memoirs, whose existence were unknown outside a tiny clique until their release, were put together from 30 one-hour cassette tapes which Zhao clandestinely recorded during his 16-year house arrest.

Recorded over his children's music and Peking Opera tapes, Zhao numbered each one with faint pencil before passing them to trusted friends to be smuggled out in separate batches under the nose of his captors.

The full contents, including audio clips, will be published in "Prisoner of the State: The secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang" on May 19. A Chinese language edition is also being produced, although it is expected to be banned in China.

The memoir will provide historians and with a unique insight into the inner workings of the highly secretive Chinese Communist Party at a key turning point in its recent history.

"It is the first time that a leader of Zhao's stature in China has spoken frankly about life at the top," wrote Adi Ignatius the US journalist and China expert who edited the memoir.

"He provides an intimate look at one of the world's most opaque regimes. We learn about the triumphs and failures, the boasts and insecurities, of the man who tried to bring liberal change to China, and who made every effort to stop the Tiananmen Massacre."

Bao Tong, Zhao's secretary who was jailed for seven years after the protests and now lives under 24-hour surveillance in Beijing, said that he had 'no doubt' the recordings were authentic after listening to portions of the tapes.

"I think it will cause Party members to reflect deeply," he told the Reuters news agency, "I think it's slightly more likely that senior leaders would read this book. It will give them a lot to think about, and cause them to think about the Party's basic survival."

The memoirs, released just a few weeks before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square killings, come at a highly sensitive time for China's rulers who will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in October.

The 1989 anniversary will pass unmarked, however, as the Party has made strenuous efforts to exorcise the memory of the killings from popular consciousness in China, with many young Chinese knowing nothing of the events of what is euphemistically referred to as the 'June 4 disturbance'.

Among the key passages of the book is Zhao's account of the meeting on May 17 at the house of Deng Xiaoping at which it was decided – despite Zhao's vigorous representations – to impose martial law and clear the square by force.

In the extracts, which have been seen by The Telegraph, Zhao argues that the students were not revolutionary, but merely wanted an explanation about how the "government can be so coldhearted in the face of hunger-striking students".

Deng, however, "appeared very impatient and displeased", Zhao added, and made the decision to impose martial law arguing that there was "no way to back down" without the student protests getting further out of control.

When the meeting adjourned, Zhao recalls that he left immediately, not pausing to talk further with his colleagues. "At that moment, I was extremely upset. I told myself that no matter what, I refused to become the General Secretary who mobilised the military to crack down on the students."


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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Wow.

The Chinese internet censors will be quite busy soon. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:18 pm 
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Something I ran across on Tiananmen:

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htint ... 80124.aspx

Quote:
Intelligence: Burying Tiananmen And Flushing It Away


January 24, 2018: In late 2017 Britain declassified data its diplomats and intelligence agencies collected on what went on in June 1989 when the Chinese military savagely suppressed the main (and most reported on by world media) pro-democracy demonstration in China. All this took place in Beijing, the capital, in Tiananmen Square. The British collected numerous eye-witness accounts of the massacre itself, including the use of troops who were largely illiterate and known to be particularly loyal to the communist government. The Chinese government went to extreme lengths to suppress any data on how many actually died. The official number was 300 while Chinese Red Cross initially released estimates of 2,700 dead but later withdrew that. It turned out that during the massacre Chinese ambulances and other medical personnel were turned away and some of those who got through and did not leave quickly enough were massacred as well.

The British estimate agreed with the American intelligence estimate (over 10,000 dead and 40,000 wounded) that was released in 2014. The British data indicates the number of dead was somewhat higher and Chinese officials who spoke to British diplomatic personnel indicated that the government was not seeking an official number, even if highly classified but the number regularly used by Chinese officials was “at least 10,000.”) The Chinese sources are reliable but will never be named by the Brits, something they are good at keeping secret.

The British released a lot of details on how the attack was carried out, including the use of promises (quickly broken) to allow demonstrators (including survivors of the first round of killing) to leave. The troops apparently had orders to kill all civilians in the square and destroy the bodies where they fell. This included crushing the dead using armored vehicles, burning those remains and flushing those remains down storm drains. The area was sealed off for over a month so the cleanup could be thorough.

After the June 4 massacre the Chinese government enacted a growing number of measures to erase the June 1989 demonstrations (there were over 400 different demonstrations across the country with millions of Chinese participating) from popular memory. Martial law was imposed on the capital until 1990 to make it easier to hunt down survivors and terrorize anyone inclined to discuss the massacre.

The censorship effort continues. A good example occurred in 2015 when Hong Kong was the scene of over 100,000 people gathering to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Hong Kong residents have more freedoms because of a 1990s deal with Britain to leave their prosperous colony intact. Thus Chinese in Hong Kong never forgot Tiananmen. This spontaneous uprising scared Chinese officials a great deal as they saw it as potentially a Chinese version of the 1989 collapse of communist rule in East Europe that occurred by the end of 1989. Every year at this time Chinese Internet censors are noticeably more active in a continuing effort to keep any news of the 1989 uprising from the Chinese public. Any discussion of the savage crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators has been banned since 1989. The government effort has been successful at keeping most Chinese from knowing the details, or caring much about it. However many Chinese are aware that something happened. There are so many nasty aspects of Chinese history that Chinese are dimly aware of but not particularly curious about. In China there is a lot to forget and good reasons for doing so.



“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:48 pm 
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chijohnaok wrote:
Something I ran across on Tiananmen:

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htint ... 80124.aspx

Quote:
Intelligence: Burying Tiananmen And Flushing It Away


January 24, 2018: In late 2017 Britain declassified data its diplomats and intelligence agencies collected on what went on in June 1989 when the Chinese military savagely suppressed the main (and most reported on by world media) pro-democracy demonstration in China. All this took place in Beijing, the capital, in Tiananmen Square. The British collected numerous eye-witness accounts of the massacre itself, including the use of troops who were largely illiterate and known to be particularly loyal to the communist government. The Chinese government went to extreme lengths to suppress any data on how many actually died. The official number was 300 while Chinese Red Cross initially released estimates of 2,700 dead but later withdrew that. It turned out that during the massacre Chinese ambulances and other medical personnel were turned away and some of those who got through and did not leave quickly enough were massacred as well.

The British estimate agreed with the American intelligence estimate (over 10,000 dead and 40,000 wounded) that was released in 2014. The British data indicates the number of dead was somewhat higher and Chinese officials who spoke to British diplomatic personnel indicated that the government was not seeking an official number, even if highly classified but the number regularly used by Chinese officials was “at least 10,000.”) The Chinese sources are reliable but will never be named by the Brits, something they are good at keeping secret.

The British released a lot of details on how the attack was carried out, including the use of promises (quickly broken) to allow demonstrators (including survivors of the first round of killing) to leave. The troops apparently had orders to kill all civilians in the square and destroy the bodies where they fell. This included crushing the dead using armored vehicles, burning those remains and flushing those remains down storm drains. The area was sealed off for over a month so the cleanup could be thorough.

After the June 4 massacre the Chinese government enacted a growing number of measures to erase the June 1989 demonstrations (there were over 400 different demonstrations across the country with millions of Chinese participating) from popular memory. Martial law was imposed on the capital until 1990 to make it easier to hunt down survivors and terrorize anyone inclined to discuss the massacre.

The censorship effort continues. A good example occurred in 2015 when Hong Kong was the scene of over 100,000 people gathering to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Hong Kong residents have more freedoms because of a 1990s deal with Britain to leave their prosperous colony intact. Thus Chinese in Hong Kong never forgot Tiananmen. This spontaneous uprising scared Chinese officials a great deal as they saw it as potentially a Chinese version of the 1989 collapse of communist rule in East Europe that occurred by the end of 1989. Every year at this time Chinese Internet censors are noticeably more active in a continuing effort to keep any news of the 1989 uprising from the Chinese public. Any discussion of the savage crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators has been banned since 1989. The government effort has been successful at keeping most Chinese from knowing the details, or caring much about it. However many Chinese are aware that something happened. There are so many nasty aspects of Chinese history that Chinese are dimly aware of but not particularly curious about. In China there is a lot to forget and good reasons for doing so.



“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)



Monstrous.

Commies will be commies, no matter the flavor. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:33 am 
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Gotta feel sorry for those in Hong Kong, balanced on the blades edge.

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:52 am 
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EUBanana wrote:
Gotta feel sorry for those in Hong Kong, balanced on the blades edge.



They may look back nostalgically someday to the period when they were “governed” by British colonial masters. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:12 pm 
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chijohnaok wrote:
EUBanana wrote:
Gotta feel sorry for those in Hong Kong, balanced on the blades edge.



They may look back nostalgically someday to the period when they were “governed” by British colonial masters. ;-)


Wasn't there some HK guy organizing protests against the ChiCom government's increasing heavy-handedness there?

Don't remember his name, but they probably arrested him by now. Maybe even "disappeared him". :?

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 Post subject: Re: Chinese leader condemns Tiananmen from beyond the grave
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:45 am 
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