Tomorrow marks the 25th Anniversary of the Bloody Confrontation of the People’s Liberation Army, in Beijing, in Tiananmen Square–right in front of The Great Hall of the People. The participants were mostly Students, Academics and Journalists. They were protesting the complete lack of Human Rights, and Political and Media Freedoms.
The actual date was June 4, 1989; however, you wouldn’t know it, from the China Daily USA, as noted on the link for today’s front page: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn. China Daily is the Official People’s English Language Newspaper. On the other hand, the front page of the South China Morning Post, from Hong Kong, displays its coverage, front-and-center: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1524733/media-relive-tiananmen-so-people-wont-forget.
Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous island territory that had been ruled by the British since 1842, except for a short period when the Japanese controlled it during World War II. Subsequent to Tiananmen Square, the island was formally turned-over to China on July 1, 1997. So far, Hong Kong has been able to maintain a rather liberal media and political system; however, China has slowly, but surely, been tightening its grip.
The Communist Party, in China, apparently has signed onto the “Give a little to get a little” strategy. It has improved the Educational Standards and created a minority Middle Class of Consumers, which is comprised of approximately 25% of the total population. At the same time, China has continued to impose the Iron Fist of Control over most phases of Business and Society. History has been re-written or goes unreported, as noted by the required omission of any mention of Protest–such as at Tiananmen Square today. Academics, Journalists and Student-Activists are tightly-controlled.
In essence, all memory of Tiananmen has been wiped-out, for the most part, and protesters from that era are mostly under temporary house arrest. Many Chinese are too young to even remember that Fateful Day 25 years ago, and it appears that most others have largely forgotten it. It just seems not to be in the Chinese psyche.
The Bloody Confrontation in Tiananmen Square occurred before the advent of Social Media. To those who do remember it, the picture of the lone Chinese Man staring-down a PLA tank, and it backing away, was indeed a picture that went viral around-the-World--before that term was popularized in the more modern era. The picture from the South China Morning Post of a man standing in front of a mock-up of a tank, in Hong Kong, is a tremendous poke in the eye of the Chinese Government. Don’t forget Tiananmen!