Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Censoring Remembrance: China’s Twenty-Fourth Unrealized Commemoration [Three Torches] #RisingChina #TianAnMen

How China sees itself: An encouraging college student post on Tiananmen and the agenda setting chasm of the Great Firewall – between true events and their representations.

Official recognition for this wrong is a long way off, and moving forward, online activity will continue to be a forum where people can lament and lash out, but much of it will remain in electronic form — digital dust in the large scheme of things. Dissent will become more creative, but so will the censorship regime, and at year number twenty-four, Tiananmen is still just one more irreconcilable trauma. Soon it might even cease to exist online, and with that little else can serve as an effective platform for remembrance and discussion in China. Three Torches Blog, June 5, 2013

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by Jonathan Lin, Three Torches Blog
Source – Three Torches Blog, published June 5, 2013

Much has been said — and much more has gone unaddressed — about China’s June 4th 1989 Tiananmen massacre. Yesterday marked the 24th anniversary with still no sense of closure, justice, or answers. One can get a small glimpse of the events of that chaotic and tragic day from Pulitzer-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, and his New York Times article from more than two decades earlier. But as the years pass, and less of the younger generations realize the significance of the famous ‘Tank Man‘ image or ‘Statue of Democracy‘, anniversary commemorations remain an important annual reminder for something yet to be be laid to rest. The city of Hong Kong, a special administrative region located to the south of mainland China, has been the site of Tiananmen anniversary commemorations for a few years now, though this year local journalists have come away with photographs that show important variations in this year’s peaceful vigils, including shots of a demonstrator carrying placards saying “Thank you, Hong Kong”

As reporting of the events that commemorate the 24th anniversary still unfold, I would like to draw attention more to the state of Chinese censorship and the online crackdown of anything remotely related to the events back in 1989. According to The Guardian, China’s biggest blogging platform Sino Weibo — the homegrown Chinese variant of Twitter — kicked its censorship platform into overdrive, banning search terms such as ‘today’ ‘tomorrow’ and date references, where numerous combinations of digits and figures bring netizens to dead links and webpages. Such combinations include ’25′ (89 subtract 64), ’10′ (6 + 4), ’17′ (8+9) or ’24′ (twenty-fourth anniversary) — all have become taboo in recent days because of the political sensitivity of the anniversary. Though Hong Kong journalists and netizens are savvy and adopt a range of parody, panache, and perseverance to reference the anniversary, China’s authoritarian Internet censorship regime remains in place and will prevent the government’s power from eroding. Indeed voices of resistance, grief, and frustration on the mainland are largely stifled by what the authorities have put in place online.

Please click here to read the full article at Three Torches.

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Disaster, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Human Rights, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Tiananmen 20th anniversary, Tiananmen security, U.S.

Tiananmen’s dissenting voices [The Age]

June 4th is the 21st anniversary of the highly significant Tiananmen Square Incident – both because it showed a solidarity of a people beyond their political conditioning, and more importantly, it showed a face of China the rest of the world had not known before. Last year was the 20th anniversary and news on it was all over the place. Not so much this year.

Naturally there is no noticeable mention or reportage on both the official mouthpieces China Daily and Xinhua. A quick search on Google, under the search field – ‘June 4th, China’ and ‘Tiananmen Anniversary’ also found no noteworthy mentions published this year in 2010 within the first two search page returns (though it must be limited as I was searching in English, and not Chinese)

Here is coverage from an Australian perspective that notes, “…those internal wounds are still raw, as demonstrated by the effort that the party and PLA have exerted to ensure today’s 21st anniversary will pass without any public mention within China.”

Also, go here for this year’s controvesy regarding the incident, with Chinese web users trying to circumvent limitations on public discourse by publishing this cartoon – ‘Tank cartoon erased before Tiananmen anniversary’ (Committee to Protect Journalists, 2010)

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Tiananmen’s dissenting voices
John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published June 4, 2010

General Qin Jiwei (centre) with Deng Xiaoping (right), in 1984. Photo - The Age

There were heroes in the military in 1989, John Garnaut reports from Beijing.

IN May 1989 the talented commander of the legendary 38th Army, Lieutenant General Xu Qinxian, defied an order from the paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, to lead his troops to Beijing.

General Xu took no part in the subsequent killing of hundreds of protesters around Tiananmen Square, which is now quietly referred to in China simply as ”June 4” and remains the worst incident of direct military violence against Chinese people in the People’s Republic’s 60-year history. The bloodshed split the People’s Liberation Army as it did the Communist Party and the country. ”The case of General Xu is representative of the dissenting voice within the military,” said Warren Sun, an authority at Monash University on the Communist Party’s internal history . ”Deng held a real fear of a possible military coup,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Chinese Model, Communications, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Strategy, The Age, Tiananmen 20th anniversary, Tiananmen security

Jitters on display as China tightens Tiananmen security

Happy June everyone. Trust the year has been treating us all well. Here’s something from the AFP. It is interesting to observe how China today is quite happy to do what it she wishes to do. Something my dad pointed out; what used to be a China is affected by the rest of the world, is now a China that affects the rest of the world.

Jitters on display as China tightens Tiananmen security
June 2, 2009
Source – The Age

China ramped up security at Tiananmen Square days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on demonstrations there, questioning visitors and blocking journalists trying to report yesterday.

The dramatically tightened controls appeared to reflect official fears of any attempts to commemorate the bloody crackdown that ended seven weeks of pro-democracy protests, leaving hundreds, perhaps thousands, dead.

The square is already one of the most closely watched public spaces in the world but controls were noticeably more stringent yesterday.

Dozens of police and other security personnel patrolled on foot and in vehicles amid scattered Chinese tourists taking snapshots of the iconic portrait of revolutionary founder Mao Zedong that overlooks the square.

Security personnel also stopped groups of pedestrians on side streets approaching the square, questioning them and inspecting their belongings.

“There has been a change. You can feel it,” said a guard at a traffic crossing next to the square.

China’s leadership sent People’s Liberation Army soldiers to forcibly clear the square on the night of June 3-4, 1989. Those events remain a taboo subject in China.

Some of the most prominent Tiananmen dissidents have already reported increased restrictions on their activities as Thursday’s anniversary neared, with some even being taken out of the capital.

Police were seen yesterday stopping a film crew from Spanish television network TVE and asking them to leave the square.

“They said we could not interview anybody or do any filming and that we had to leave,” Rosa Mollo, the network’s China bureau chief, said.

An AFP journalist had been allowed to film on the square just last week.

Police asked for the identification of an AFP journalist and said interviewing square visitors was not allowed. A police van then followed him around the square.

At one point, about two dozen armed soldiers were seen marching into the square from a side entrance.

The heavy security extended into adjacent neighbourhoods where much of the worst violence on the night of June 3-4 was reported.

An AFP reporter saw dozens of police vehicles lining side streets while uniformed and plainclothes security forces loitered around in groups, sharing bottles of water and seeking shade under a hot midday sun.

Filed under: Tiananmen security

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