Sunday, June 03, 2012

From The Shadows: Ghosts Of Tiananmen

(Via CDT)
Any country with as long a history as China has to contend with an equally long memory. The Communist Party has tried to circumscribe it by outlawing any discussion on the Tiananmen Square massacre that took place 23 years ago today. But language, like thought, is an impossible captive. The ghosts of the massacre haunt the Chinese and every year some new revelation emerges from the shadows. Chen Xitong, the mayor of Beijing at the time, has just renounced the official version of events, telling a Hong Kong publisher that the bloodshed at Tiananmen Square was “actually a tragedy that could have been avoided and should have been avoided...Nobody should have died if it had been handled properly."

(Former Beijing mayor, Chen Xitong, with Hong Kong publisher, Yao Jianfu via WaPo)
The book, titled Conversation With Chen Xitong, went on sale this past Friday in Hong Kong despite threats from mainland authorities to halt its release. Hong Kong, a special administrative region, is ruled under a "one country, two systems policy," and remains the only enclave of free speech in China. Every year since the 1989 massacre, Hong Kong has hosted a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park. Last year, over 100,000 people attended.

(2009 Candlelight Vigil, Hong Kong, Via Yewco)

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