Tiananmen’s spirit carried on after two decades

Friday, June 5, 2009
Issue 723, Page 3
Word count: 471
Published in: Macau Daily Times

Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Twenty years on, Macau’s civilians did not forget those who sacrificed their lives fighting for democracy in Tiananmen Square. A candlelight vigil continued to be held in Senado Square last night in memory of the young students and intellectuals.

The outdoor assembly, organised by democrat-cum-lawmaker Au Kam San and Ng Kuok Cheong, attracted a crowd of around 100 people, including both Chinese and foreigners.

Like in the past 19 years, white candles were lit and carried by those who participated in the memorial event.

The organisers insisted on their demands – to set up a committee to investigate the incident independently and fairly; to give an explanation to the families of the deceased; to pay victims compensation according to the law; as well as to seek legal responsibility on relevant people.

The organisers said the “historical fact doesn’t care about the official evaluation [on the incident], but in order to fight for justice for the deceased and to break information control, insisting on holding the June Fourth candlelight vigil is to insist on moving toward a bright future”.

According to Ng, the Chinese Communist Party claimed that the western countries made use of the Tiananmen Square protests (also known as “June Fourth Incident”) to overthrow China’s socialism.

“Yet the truth showed that the bloody crackdown didn’t only fail to preserve socialism, but led to the complete collapse of the global communist camp,” he said in a speech.

“China also turned itself into a bureaucratic capitalist under a one-party dictatorship,” he added.

The June Fourth Incident, Ng said, caused a “massive shock” to the world’s communist camp, prompted the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

China, “a bureaucratic body”, Ng said, continued to manipulate flows of information by the dictatorship force in order to “prolong its ruling and cover up bureaucratic sins”.

Yet, he added that such operation must give rise to a crisis which would eventually “blast”.

On the other hand, in a bid to achieve economic development, China joined the World Trade Organization and each year its Gross National Product registered a double digit growth.

Ng pointed out that at the same time, the gap between rich and poor widened and the low income group did not benefit from the economic bloom.

Led mainly by students and intellectuals, demonstrations were staged in and near Tiananmen Square starting April 14, 1989 calling for economic change, democratic reform and the end of the Chinese government’s authoritarianism, as prompted by the death of anti corruption official Hu Yaobang.

On June 4 in the same year, the Chinese government decided to send the People’s Liberation Army who then advanced tanks to clear Tiananmen Square in Beijing, resulting to the deaths of an unknown number of young civilians.

The June Fourth Incident remains a taboo in China.


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