History & Culture

On the Anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, Chinese Communists Escalate Campaign to Erase A Shameful History with New Hong Kong Crackdown

AMAC Exclusive by Aaron Kliegman

Tiananmen

On this day, June 4, 1989, pro-democracy demonstrators gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing for peaceful demonstrations, as they had been doing for months. The protests were led by students, who denounced Chinese government corruption and oppression and called for greater freedoms for the Chinese people.

It was a gathering of hope and aspiration.

Then the military arrived.

The Communist Party sent the People’s Liberation Army to Tiananmen Square to crush the student protest movement, and the military massacred thousands of demonstrators and bystanders.

This show of force, China’s leaders have since tried to erase from history. Indeed, Chinese authorities forbid any discussion of the killings, let alone a memorial or commemoration. You will not find a valid account of what happened in films, textbooks, or newspapers in Mainland China. In China today, many young people are unaware it ever happened, while others now believe the crackdown may have actually been necessary.

But in Hong Kong, much to the chagrin of Beijing, there has been more leeway to remember those who died at Tiananmen and democratic China for which they fought.

That is, until now.

For years, the annual vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to commemorate the massacre has attracted tens of thousands of people. Even last year, when Hong Kong’s police banned the gathering for the first time in 30 years (purportedly because of COVID-19), thousands of people showed up anyway.

However, this year, authorities are threatening much harsher penalties for those who participate — and not because of the pandemic. This is about suppression, bringing the rules of the mainland to a once semi-autonomous Hong Kong region.

In fact, Hong Kong’s Security Bureau warned that offenders would face up to five years in prison for attending the vigil or a year in jail for promoting it.

“The relevant meetings and procession are unauthorized assemblies. No one should take part in it, or advertise or publicize it, or else he or she may violate the law,” the bureau said in a statement. “If anyone attempts to challenge the law, including the Prohibition on Group Gathering, Public Order Ordinance, Hong Kong National Security Law, etc., the police will deal with it seriously in accordance with the law.”

The context overshadowing this new crackdown is the National Security Law, which China imposed on Hong Kong last summer. The measure effectively forbids any dissent against the Chinese government and allows Chinese authorities to shut down everything from free speech to peaceful protests.

The United Kingdom transferred Hong Kong to China in 1997 with the understanding that the territory would maintain its autonomy. In one authoritarian move, the National Security Law ended Hong Kong’s relative autonomy from Beijing.

Citizens of Hong Kong will now be much less likely to engage in any acts of mass protest, allowing the Chinese Communist Party’s erasure of the Tiananmen massacre to extend to Hong Kong.

Of course, these moves are not just about erasing the shame of what happened 32 years ago. They are about China’s leadership fighting to retain its iron grip on power today. That is why the CCP is actively working to crush any and all dissent — especially in Hong Kong, where an anti-CCP pro-democracy movement threatens Beijing’s control.

For the same reason, authorities just shut down a museum in Hong Kong dedicated to the Tiananmen protests. Publishers are revising textbooks, and broadcasters are scrubbing specific programs to adhere to the Communist Party’s narrative. And police in Hong Kong arrested dozens of dissenters and other opposition figures earlier this year.

A judge ruled Monday that the trials of 47 detained pro-democracy activists, who have been charged with conspiracy to commit subversion, will resume July 8. Most of these activists have been languishing in custody for months. One of the 47 Hong Kong journalists and former pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo was denied bail simply for speaking to Western journalists via WhatsApp.

If this situation continues, China’s campaign to erase history and crush the spirit of Hongkongers may succeed.

Here it is important for pro-democracy supporters in China — and the West — to remember not only the Tiananmen massacre on June 4 but also what happened the next day.

On June 5, 1989, an unidentified Chinese man, whose fate remains a mystery, stood alone, unarmed, in front of a column of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square. Hours earlier, the killings had occurred. Yet “Tank Man,” as the unknown protester is known, was undeterred, temporarily blocking the tanks from advancing.

Wearing a white shirt and holding two shopping bags, the man brought the tanks to a halt, staring them down. When the first tank tried to move past Tank Man, he shuffled his feet to obstruct its path.

The fate of Tank Man may be an open question, but he has been immortalized for his bravery, serving as a symbol of freedom.

Thirty-two years after China’s shocking massacre in Tiananmen Square, it remains a horrific yet instructive example of how far China’s ruling Communist Party is willing to go to stay in power.

The Chinese government oppresses its people because it fears them; it fears losing power. Indeed, the Communist Party fears another Tank Man more than any American aircraft carrier. Even if the people of Hong Kong are prohibited from attending this year’s vigil, they should remember Tank Man and everyone who demonstrated against China’s totalitarian regime in 1989.

Their spirit lives on today—no doubt deep in the souls of many Chinese. The cause of freedom is eternal, and the yearning for liberty will continue — no matter what the Chinese Communist Party does.

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Karen
3 months ago

Yup, when they take over the USA, this is exactly what we will be going to witness. Wise up Biden, you won’t survive the history books ever. Neither will you socialist cohorts.

JOHN
3 months ago

Remember…… These so called “Public” schools are NOT! We have GOVERNMENT SCHOOL. Also we do not have “Public” Transportation, it IS GOVERNMENT Transportation in every form.. Even AMTRAC is “government” funded and a DISASTER. Old Uncle Joe was and is selling us down the river to China. The problem is, There does not seem to BE anyone doing ANYTHING but “go along to get along” politics making MONEY. Initially Congressmen and Senators were NOT paid! They were elected to serve at the convenience to REPRESENT their constituents!
We The People are becoming mere residents and occupants. no longer United States Citizens!

Stephen Russell
3 months ago

Teach about in ALL US schools nationwide, HS+ levels
Private schools

BrendaLee
3 months ago

Sound familiar? We entrusted our children to public schools. The result is indoctrination of the left wing radicals. My husband was a Vietnam veteran. I’m not glad he’s gone but I am glad he doesn’t have to sit by and watch what he shed blood, sweat, and tears for. To live in freedom that is slowly slipping away. Piece by piece. It saddens my heart. God help us. China Joe and Camel Toe Harris do not have our best interests at heart. The motto in the white house seems to be…. ask not what I can do for my country but what can my country do for me!!!!Lining their pockets on the back of the American people. It’s geart rending to watch. Pray for this country. We are heading for an abyss that I’m not sure we can ever come back from. I pray we can. God bless and be safe!

Old Silk
3 months ago

Before the door is completely slammed shut in Hong Kong, the people need to know that we all know what disgraceful trucebreakers the CCP are.

Carol
3 months ago

I heard a podcast with one of the gals that started the Epoch Times. She is a Chinese-American and was raised in the Wutan area. She was engaging and said the CCP is really afraid of the people over there. She said they have many problems with the CCP and the hold the CCP has over the people isn’t as strong as it was in the past. This is probably why the CCP is becoming more oppressive, since it has to put terror in the hearts of the people to control them! She thinks the CCP will be overturned but it’s a matter of when. I don’t remember her name but she was really encouraging. Look for the episode on Be the People podcast with Dr. Carol Swain.

Ray
3 months ago

Who would have that a President of the USA would be banned from free speech?

Keith
3 months ago

Any society that would execute their own kids being dissidents and lead the world in organ harvesting and the imprisonment and execution of political and religious dissidents has no place in the western world and in a free Society

Rebecca
3 months ago

Something happening in United States

Shelley Snyder
3 months ago

It’s time for the American people to open their eyes to what is coming. If we continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t matter here, this is what we will be our undoing. The result is total loss of any freedoms we ever had. It causes me great sadness to think what our grandchildren will be facing in the future. Your votes do count! Your life does matter! May God have mercy on us all.

Rush Glick
3 months ago

Are we not on the road to totalitarianism in our own country? We need to all become “Tank Men” and take a stand against the creeping tyranny that is sweeping across our culture and nation.

Lisa Z
3 months ago

Trump should be given a voice on social media platforms. This kind of suppression in America is frightening.

Patty L
3 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Z

He could post on Frankspeech.com. A site we should all be looking at. The truth about our stolen election is there. Among other topics that the main stream news incorrectly reports.

Phillip
3 months ago
Reply to  Patty L

Thanks for the info. Had never heard of Frankspeech before.

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