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China Addresses the Roots of the 1989 Tiananmen Square ‘Riots’

Aug. 26, 2021 (EIRNS)—The Chinese government and press almost never discuss the mass demonstrations in 1989 which filled Tiananmen Square for many weeks, ending with the military forcing the mainly youth out on June 4, 1989. However, in conjunction with the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the party released a document on June 5 titled “CPC Emerges Stronger, Firmer to Original Aspirations through the Haze of the 1980s.” It essentially blames the unrest on the dramatic slowdown in growth caused by the chaos of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976, but emphasizes that China, by shutting down the Tiananmen demonstrations, had avoided the drastic economic chaos in the nations of the Soviet Union after the collapse of communism (described in the book by Sergei Glazyev, “Genocide: Russia and the New World Order”, published by EIR), and allowed for the spectacular development of China over the last 32 years.

“From the late 1980s to early 1990s, not only China, but the whole socialist bloc, including the Soviet Union and many Eastern and Central European countries, encountered a huge wave of ‘liberalization’ or ‘democratization,’ which in fact was Westernization,” the report says.

“The CPC leaders, just like their comrades in Europe, were facing a decision—to insist on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and keep the Party’s original aspiration; or give up socialism like what the European comrades did and embrace Westernization....

“Because of the Cultural Revolution, China’s development fell behind most other countries of the world. When some Chinese people, officials and intellectuals engaged with the world and saw the advancement and prosperity of the West through travelling abroad, listening to VOA news, watching Hollywood movies and drinking Coca Cola, they felt shocked, and lost the confidence to keep going on the path of socialism, said some analysts.”

They quote an unnamed former student who had participated in the 1989 demonstrations: “At that time, we believed a complete Westernization, just like what Japan and South Korea did, or maybe just like our Taiwan and Hong Kong regions, will help China solve all problems and catch up with other major powers of the world soon.” He went on that not only students, “but also a few senior officials of the CPC leadership thought similarly.” It is not stated, but among such leaders was Zhao Ziyang, then the heir apparent to Deng Xiaoping, but who worked with George Soros and others to bring in “open society” and “free market” ideas, and supported the demonstrators who had occupied Tiananmen Square. He was disgraced and removed from power after that.

The report says:

“In the late 1980s, some Chinese people, especially intellectuals and students, who desperately wanted the country to be opened and felt extremely unconfident in the front of mighty Western modern culture and neo-liberalism ideology, started to undermine traditional Chinese culture and crow about the advancement of Western culture. The documentary ‘River Elegy’ in 1988 is a typical example, as it immaturely concluded that China’s land-based civilization was inferior to Western maritime culture, and the documentary also tried to undermine patriotism and splendid traditions of the Chinese nation, which angered many Chinese people but also confused the minds of quite a number of the youths at that time.”

The report quotes Renmin University China-U.S. affairs scholar Jin Canrong: “The Chinese culture is definitely not inferior to any other culture; the reason why the West had advantages over China in the past 100 years is because of industrialization.” Once China realized full industrialization, “the West had no advantage at all because China’s scale is way bigger than them all. That’s why Western strategists and elites are worried and concerned about our development now,” Jin stated.

“If the CPC made the mistake and compromised, China might have had civil wars as well, just like the Chechen War in Russia, or might have been attacked by the West, like what NATO did to former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, or China’s state-owned properties and resources might have been privatized, and Western capitalists would have plundered the prosperity of our people like what the West did to Eastern and Central European countries after the Cold War.”

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