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China Allows Access to English Wikipedia

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the welcome-back-folks dept.

Censorship 219

LinuxLefty writes "Reuters is reporting that Chinese authorities have lifted the ban on the English version of Wikipedia. The Chinese version of the site is still blocked, as are English-language versions of politically sensitive topics such as Tibet and Tiananmen Square. 'The move comes after International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspectors told Beijing organisers that the Internet must be open for the duration of the 2008 Olympics and that blocking it "would reflect very poorly" on the host country. China's government, keen to avoid sparking social discontent, keeps a tight watch over the media and often blocks or censors popular Web sites and forums where dissent may brew.'"

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wikipedia? (5, Funny)

benburned (1091769) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981830)

citation needed ;)

Information wants to be free! (4, Informative)

26199 (577806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981838)

...and all that stuff.

Since it seems incredibly fitting, here is the Wikipedia article on Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Information wants to be free! (5, Funny)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981862)

"Information wants to be free!"

What everybody forgets to mention is that 'Information' is the nickname of a convicted felon, of course he wants to be free, he's in prison and he hates being locked up.

Re:Information wants to be free! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981968)

Free Hans Reiser!

Re:Information wants to be free! (3, Funny)

kyriosdelis (1100427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982028)

No, Free Hat!

Re:Information wants to be free! (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982164)

Free as in information or free as in beer?

Re:Information wants to be free! (1)

Richmeister (1188909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982204)

Free Bird!

It's not happening. (5, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981896)

Westerners in the Olympic Village will see something very open and free but it's all a put on. The Atlantic had a good article about this not long ago. The great firewall of China is extensive and fine grained enough to block individual page views at random. It's enough to eliminate public discussion on many topics and it's enough to round up potential subversives. Information in China is not free because people in China are not free.

WARNING: SOCKPUPPET (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981980)

Original account is twitter [slashdot.org] .

The sockpuppets are Erris [slashdot.org] , gnutoo [slashdot.org] , inTheLoo [slashdot.org] , and Mactrope [slashdot.org] .

I'm not logged in since twitter uses accounts that have mod points to mod down critics.

Mactrope has already posted to this story. Standby for the other socks.

Re:WARNING: SOCKPUPPET (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982092)

and who are you? Some kind of Chinese oppressor? Please tell me what's wrong with the GPs post you Mao dick sucking troll.

Re:It's not happening. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982116)

Exactly. Shouldn't the headline read "China still blocking dissenting websites"?

Re:It's not happening. (5, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982540)

Obligatory Karma Whoring: The Atlantic article [theatlantic.com] .

Not only is this a transparently empty gesture by the CPC, but I believe it has absolutely no downside for the CPC. It's English. The only people that are going to looking at it are foreigners and they're going to leave after two weeks. The indigenous population isn't going to bother, simply because they're much more focused on the simplified-chinese version. Also, don't discount how the population has been cowed into self censorship. No doubt thanks to Jingjing, Chacha, and the thousands of true believers [danwei.org] . (There's ALWAYS true believers.)

Honestly, I don't think the Chinese people want freedom and democracy. I think they're too busy making money and improving their lives. Don't rock the boat, we've got a good think going. Let it be. It's human nature. As Juvenal observed [wikipedia.org] :

Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now
restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses

Re:It's not happening. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982896)

The Atlantic had a good article about this not long ago.

Yes twitter [slashdot.org] , coincidence of coincidences, you wrote it up in the Journal [slashdot.org] of one of your sockpuppet accounts. Coincidentally (again), "Mactrope" has already posted in this article as well.

Does it get complicated to keep all five of them straight?

Won't make any difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982318)

It won't make any difference, given that the militantly racist Han Chinese Nationalist edit cabal(mostly consisting of expatriates and Communist sympathisers from Pakistan, Iran and the UK) have already whitewashed numerous articles on China's bad behaviour. Just take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_unrest_in_Tibet [wikipedia.org] , where the edit-warriors have made the Tibetans look like the bad guys, even though they are the ones being oppressed and depopulated by Han Nationalist land squatters. Same with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Tibet [wikipedia.org] . I was disgusted to see the article "Tibet", supposedly about the history and culture of the region, mostly devoted to a long rationalisation of why it is and always has been a part of China (except for when it was influenced by "teh Eeeeevil Western Colonialists"). Believe it or not that damn page has a google page rank of 7. Although a glance at the history page seems to indicate that some of the Han-racist/Communist tripe has been toned down over the months, WTF??!??! I think that the Tibetan diaspora should start their own wiki-site (wikis get higher placement on google searches than regular websites) and counter such bullshit.

It would be better if we could somehow get people in China access to more reliable sources than han-opedia/trashopedia, like Tibetan freedom books/websites or those of western newspapers/western-reporters/analysts. I'm sure there are also many Taiwanese commentators and academics who have written critically on the Chinese Communist government. People in China need contact with that stuff as well.

Re:Information wants to be free! (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982542)

I don't get it, why do westerners care about how free the Chinese are? It doesn't affect you at all, and talking about how everyone should be allowed to free speech and will isn't going to help the Chinese either.
When I visited China what impressed me was that they are extremely well organized. This is in close connection with the fact that there are 1 billion+ Chinese and the type of government they have.
I don't think the average Cho cares if he's heard by the public or not, or if he can view any website he wants (most of them don't have internet connections anyway), he wouldn't make much difference (because of the 10 digit population number) and if it would, there would be complete chaos in there.
Look what happens when all the idiots in Europe or the USA get equal rights to speech and thinking: Bush commands the USA, an illiterate shepherd becomes a party leader in my country (not a successful one but still...), astrologists get to be viewed as scientists and so on. Now think of the USA and Europe in a much smaller place with a lot fewer resources. It wouldn't work.

Boycott the Olympics (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981852)

I'd be so happy if some protest group succeeds in stealing or putting out the torch. Giving the Chinese the Olympics is the worst awarding mistake since 1980.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (3, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981870)

The issue here is not that China was given the Olympics. But the issue here is that China is squandering their opportunity to show that they have come along...

No, instead what we see is a totalitarian state that pretends to be capitalistic... Yeah whatever... Though they never fooled me once, hence why I refuse to invest in any Chinese corporation.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (5, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981892)

Oh they look pretty capitalistic to me, that doesn't contradict the totalitarianism.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (1)

benpark22 (709929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981920)

... Though they never fooled me once, hence why I refuse to invest in any Chinese corporation.
This may cost dearly.

Yeah, but you already do. (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981996)

America has exported large number of jobs to China. EU has started doing the same. That means that unless you live off this planet, that you are buying Chinese product. More importantly, you are supporting them, unless you are actively checking everything that you buy.

Re:Yeah, but you already do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982172)


  FYI, Most of our imports come from our neighbor, Canada. Then it comes from China. What's left is other countries.

You need to read more. (1, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982310)

Last year, China went past Canada as our number 1 partner. [freerepublic.com] The real problem is that China has prevented us from exporting to them, while Canada and Mexico actively encourage it. In addition, NAFTA has allowed all 3 countries to expand while China was contracted out jobs. In fact, with the yuan being pushed up, even slowly, it is certain that a LOT more dollars will flow to China, since they acocunt for about 17% of import.

Re:You need to read more. (1)

jmikelittle (1246304) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982784)

If China existed in a pure monopoly, then you would be correct in saying that the Yuan's valuation would increase the trade deficit. In reality a higher Yuan will reduce Chinese exports and encourage higher imports. This is pretty basic economic theory. If Chinese goods are more expensive, where is their competitive advantage?

Nice to think that (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982886)

but china has a number of laws that make it difficult to import into there. In the end, china encourages all companies to go there and create jobs locally, and then export. It is the same practice that other countries have. India and brazil are good examples of that. But keep in mind that the yuan has gone up against the dollar, but it has gone down against the Euro. It has gone down 10% just in the last year. With china able to fix vs. a money, it will stay low.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (1, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982104)

No, it's worse. Our governments are helping the Chinese take away our freedoms specifically for these games.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (3, Interesting)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982298)

The issue *is* with Beijing being given the Olympics. Beijing is a dirty, polluted city - far, far worse than the infamous LA smog. They had armies of people clearing the landscape of litter when I was there (a week before the Olympic Committee came).

I recall the ridiculous discussions about having the Marathon held in the LA area when the Olympics were held there in 1984 due to air pollution issues. Bah. Beijing is worse and LA has gotten better.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (2, Interesting)

MrKevvy (85565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981964)

re: "Giving the Chinese the Olympics is the worst awarding mistake since 1980."

Which was the worst awarding mistake since 1936. What is it with up-and-coming tyrannies getting the Olympics anyways?

Re:Boycott the Olympics (2, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982152)

Olympic Games were not originally supposed to be a "Free World"-only event, and the criteria for hosting the games do not include any specific form of government.

Whether it is good or not is another matter.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982324)

Yes, you are right. This is indeed the second coming of the 1936 Olympics.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (2, Interesting)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982222)

This was marked as a "Troll", but it's correct. Some day in the future, this Olympics will be regarded the same as the 1936 Olympics. Sometimes the truth hurts.

I was in Beijing the week before the Olympic Committee went there. You slashdot members grep my posting history, I've posted here what I saw at that time.

I won't be watching these Olympics on TV.

(The best part of my trip to Beijing was seeing the airplane on the tarmac ready to take me back home to Tokyo and Freedom).

Re:Boycott the Olympics (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983088)

Some day in the future, this Olympics will be regarded the same as the 1936 Olympics.
You're very optimistic! The 1936 Olympics is regarded that way because the Nazis lost.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (2, Interesting)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983212)

You don't understand the history of China. I didn't (intend to) imply that it would be the "west" doing the evaluation. Regime change in China is always over the dead bloody body of the predecessor.

Re:Boycott the Olympics (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982550)

It's not a mistake, it's politically oriented. The same people who cry foul for "bringing politics into the games" are the same people who picked China to host merely for political reasons. The Olympic committee is among the most corrupt in the world.

Wait, that's no ban! (0, Offtopic)

Project2501a (801271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981868)

it's a fuckin' yo-yo.

Budda collapsed out of shame.

bad idea (0, Flamebait)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981880)

Do we really want them editing it though? If you can access it, you can edit it. The last thing we need is some "patriotic" chinese people altering articles in a bad way.

Re:bad idea (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981918)

That's already happening. Chinese living in the West, though they can see its freedoms, sometimes feel that the authoritarian model of their home country is the right way to do things. I've met plenty of Chinese immigrants in various countries who claim that China would fall apart if it weren't ruled with a strong hand, and Westerners just don't understand their society.

Re:bad idea (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982136)

They don't understand because the Chinese people are ignorant. They reject all contradications because they've been taught from birth that "this is the truth". Just like how a christian would reject evolution if they had be taught from birth that the earth is 6000 years old, they are no different.

You can't understand nonsense.

Re:bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22983244)

If by "Christian", you specifically mean "stereotypical fundamentalist midwestern Protestant Christian" (as opposed to a variety of other Christian denominations, including most Catholics, Orthodox, and a variety of non-fundamentalist Protestant denominations outside of the midwest) I'll take your point.

But the broadness of the terms and stereotypes concerns me - in both cases. Chinese, Christian. Were you perchance raised from birth to reject the notion of rational elements within Christianity?

Re:bad idea (1, Flamebait)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982162)

I hate this logically fallacious special pleading argument. Hate it you hear!

How can the chinese communist party be so completely corrupt and evil? It work's in mysterious ways, you just can't understand it.

(Usually used in the context of god)

Re:bad idea (2, Insightful)

atamagabakkaomae (1241604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982462)

However as a fact most Westerners do not understand very much about the, I think, quite complex structure of Chinese society. Even if you lived there it is not easy to get a feeling for what people ranging from the very poor countryside worker to the super rich entrepeneur really thinks about the government. Chinese people are not stupid, the have the same thoughts about their government as we have. Most people in China (except the very poor people) have access to the net and know how get past the firewall. Most people's English is much better then most people's Chinese in Europe or the states. They are able to read the news and follow the ongoing controversy.

It is so easy for us to say: ok we see that our system works in our country, so please do the same in China. But I think one also has to notice that the Chinese government does make efforts to steer the country in the right direction. The country is just so big and hard to control due to its extremly diverse ethnicity and the big gap between rich and poor. If things change from one day to the next, there will be a civil war and a lot of people will die and suffer. More than do right now because of the oppression by the government.

Chinese people know that they are oppressed and they are sick of it. The country is gonna change. But not tomorrow and not the day after. Not even because of the Olympic games. It takes time.

Re:bad idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982496)

I've met plenty of Chinese immigrants in various countries who claim that China would fall apart if it weren't ruled with a strong hand
Amazing!! I am married with a Chinese woman, and I have thought until now that it was her own idea!

In China, the ideas have you, I think.

Re:bad idea (1)

Daemonax (1204296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982526)

You're pretty much right. At least those Chinese people that I've meet over here that have been wealthy enough to move, have very much worshipers of authority. I guess that's part of the reason that they're wealthy.

But on my first trip to China, many of the common people don't like their government and don't worship authority.

I'm about to head back to China soon to start teaching. It's a wonderful place, the people are very nice, the food is great, the chaos is great. The only problem is the media and government, but I think that can change.

Re:bad idea (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982780)

This idea has been there for more than 5000 years, if you want to change it, I guess you need some time.

Re:bad idea (0)

samsamsamj (1086689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983276)

I'm one of those guys.

To be honest I see it only as a propaganda war between China and the west, no more, no less. China's point of view (not just the Chinese government's view or a nobody cared dissident's view, but an average Chinese view) is intentionally suppressed in the west and there's no such thing as fairness and balanced report. To fight this propaganda war, controlling the media is the necessary sin. If it's now being done too harshly and awkwardly, China's skill of manipulating the media needs to be improved. But not until China's media can penetrate your people as deeply as yours penetrates ours, you don't get the free ride.

Also I don't buy those free speech lectures. Time and time again it's been proved hypocritical and even ill-intentioned, or useless to say the least.

I'm one of those students who protested in China in Spring 1989. We broadcast the programs of the "Voice of America" and BBC throughout the campus, cheering on all kinds of rumors, e.g., widow of the former Premier Chou En-lai supported students, a certain army company rebelled, blah blah. Those days are long gone and I regretted my naivety the same as Patrick French retrospected his Free Tibet days (check his book Tibet, Tibet.)

Also check today's news on the Olympic torch relay in London. We Chinese people in London reported overwhelmingly supports from the Chinese community. A friend on the Trafalgar Square said he's never seen that many five-star red flags outside China, yet thousands of pro-China demonstrators barely get any mentioning in the news. The same happened for the pro-China demonstration held earlier in Toronto, Vancouver, and Frankfurt. 2 weeks ago an application of a pro-China demonstration in London at the Westminster police was outrightly denied citing the lack of police forces, yet the pro-Tibetan protesters were allowed every day in front of the China Embassy London. The Toronto demonstration only got approved as a pro-China concert (otherwise an up to 4 weeks' delay), on a private land, where no political slogans and speeches were allowed. At the same time a pro-Tibetan activist managed to break into the Chinese consulate in the open daylight, drag down the national flag from the consulate property (by law it's on China territory). Anyway, for those of you living in the bay area, check out the torch relay by yourself on April 9th starting from 8AM and see if overseas Chinese are all brain-washed.

For those of you that are genuinely concerned about the progress and human rights in China and Tibet, maybe start by reading the book "Tibet, Tibet" by Patrick French, a former Free Tibet activist. Then, bear with us. We're moving along, though not as fast as you had expected, but we'll be there eventually. In the end it's our country not yours, right? Environmentalists, isn't it familiar to you that intervening the natural course seldom bring in any good result?

For those of yours who just want to do good and the right thing, check the Media Monitors Network article "Not you! You!!!"http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/50965 [mediamonitors.net] , then please put more (or at least the same amount of) energy to the places where your government do not have strategic interests, and to places your kind of doing good is not controversial and actually wanted. Thank you.

They already do. (1)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981958)

The Chinese government, which is filled with all sorts of Nationalism and Socialism, edits the internet everyday. They want to put themselves in a good light so that the people they are oppressing don't rise up and burn the lot of them at the stake. It would be very nice to hear from the Chinese people themselves, just as it is nice to hear from US people. Sooner or later we will all realize that the only "bad" edits are ones that prevent people like you and me from expressing our real opinions so that some ass can send us around the world to conquer yet more innocent people.

Re:bad idea (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981962)

First, you're thinking exactly like the Chinese government and that is rather disturbing. Second, it doesn't really matter what people try to edit Wikipedia, you're supposed to check facts not just blindly obey Wikipedia or SLashdot for that matter. Third, even if they did vandalize these pages it is quite likely that someone somewhere is going to notice and revert the page back.

Re:bad idea (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981984)

I was thinking of the other way around, people replacing random pages with information about Tibet or Tiananmen.

True story. (5, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981898)

I shared a hospital room with a Chinese kid once, about 10 years ago. He had got sick while travelling in Europe. It came up in conversation that he thought China was fantastic in every way, and when I asked him about the massacre at Tienamen Square, he said "What massacre?"
That was the first time I really understood just how amazing the Chinese governments control of information is.

Re:True story - the matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982236)

Substitute: Government with computer(s) controlling the matrix..... People-- living a virtual existence-- controlled information, controlled attitudes-- apparently idyllic existence. I wonder where Neo is right now :)

Re:True story. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982442)

10-year-old children don't know about vicious oppressive massacres? Shock, horror! I'm sure 10-year-old kids here know about guantanamo, that's how free OUR society is.

Re:True story. (1)

the_olo (160789) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983102)

The grand poster wrote that it happened 10 years ago, not that the kid was 10 yeas old.

Re:True story. (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982638)

when I asked him about the massacre at Tienamen Square, he said "What massacre?"

Depending on who you believe, between 30 and 300 people died during the Tiananmen Square incident. About a million were killed during the Cultural Revolution. The "Great Leap Forward" killed more than 30 million. People in the West think Tiananmen was a big deal because they saw it on TV, but they are ignorant of earlier events that killed a million times as many people. This past summer, there were riots over land rights in several Chinese provinces that probably killed more people than died at Tiananmen. How many people in the West know (or care) about that? In the context of Chinese history, the Tiananmen Square incident was a blip.

Re:True story. (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983224)

Somewhat offtopic, but how many Chinese citizens do you think know about the Great Leap Forward? And how good do you think the coverage was of the land riots?

Re:True story. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982678)

Whereas Millions of American adults have no idea that around 1 million Iraqis are lying dead for large international corporations to profit. Tieneman square? 7000 Deaths according to NATO (One of the higher estimates).That they are living in "The Land of the Free" Despite having no large party representing anything other than fascist interests, having no independant press, infact the only right they have, is to sue anyone for anything essentially.

Re:True story. (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982682)

A lot of 10-year olds in the US know hardly anything about the history of the United States.

Re:True story. (1)

the_olo (160789) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983160)

How old was the kid? Somehow other posters got the idea he was 10.

Got English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981900)

Can you picture the Chinese government as a kid? I can just see someone coaxing a little brat 'Okay now, let go of the Chinese language Wikis...'

Again? (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981936)

China is unblocking the English version of Wikipedia again? And they're still not allowing the Chinese version? And they did it silently, because they never admitted to blocking it in the first place? Didn't this happen last week?

dupe

Re:Again? (2, Informative)

fondacio (835785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982296)

Not sure if you're being serious, sarcastic or ironic, but: last week the news was that the English versin of the BBC News website was unblocked, this week it's Wikipedia. And in case you still feel like you're suffering from deja vu, yes, we've been here before. I remember that last year, when I lived in China for three months, Wikipedia was blocked. However, soon after I left in June or maybe even a few days before my departure, the English version was unblocked. Apparently, it got blocked again in the intervening period. I am not sure whether the blocking and the unblocking of Wikipedia in China counts as news, but the unblocking of the BBC certainly was. Unfortunately, there's no telling how long access will continue to exist and as has been noted in many places, Chinese blocking software is by now sophisticated enough to block certain pages or reset the connection if certain words are found in the packets.

It's OK (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981940)

None of the dissenters speak English anyway.

China Olympics (3, Insightful)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981952)

If the Chinese government keeps up this bullshit, people are going to call for boycotts of companies that advertise during the olympics, and that will reduce their revenue (because it will diminish the value of advertsising during hte olympics).

Even the Dalai Lama himself has firmly said that the Olympics should not be boycotted.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/18/2193461.htm [abc.net.au]

He has the most to lose if China's government gets more powerful.

I agree with him, I personally don't believe a boycott of the current olympics or advertisers is warranted in this case. The olympics is the one time every four years when athletes of all nations can come together. That serves more for global peace and understanding than petty quarreling, protests, and boycotts. Note, if there was serious shit going on I'll be the at the front of the protest line.

We need China to open, isolating them further will not be helpful. It's better the Chinese (people not govt.) be exposed to how people of other cultures are and vice versa.

Hmmm. Good points (0, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982082)

I like the idea of calling for boycotts of companies that are supporting this. In fact, It would be useful to point out all the companies that are heavy in bed with China. As pressure is brought on them, they will stop. Target and Walmart comes to mind. But even now, Dell. If ppl simply call up dell and tell them that they would have bought a dell, but .....

Re:Hmmm. Good points (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982292)

Countries that are heavy in bed with china? Just about any company that wants anything manufactured, especially in the tech field. Apple stuff is built in china, Cisco routers are built in china, nearly all mobile phones are, nearly all TVs... Hell, it's been *years* since I've seen a PSU that didn't have chinese lettering on it.

Basically if you really want to boycott china you'd have to give up on technology.

Re:China Olympics (3, Interesting)

no-body (127863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982114)

Wasn't in the Greek origin of the Olympics that it could not happen if there was war going on? So, the warriors had to stop fighting so the contests could happen.

I miss that kind of integrity....

Re:China Olympics (1)

ShadowMarth (870657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982514)

Back then it was only one country. With every country in the world participating, it's downright impossible to accomplish that. Not to mention the people not represented in the Olympics that are fighting to be recognized as a country.

Re:China Olympics (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982954)

So?
Is your point that you don't like the idea and things can't change?

Since this apparently is the program running in the majority of people's heads, they won't change.

I think it's all a question of perspective.

Re:China Olympics (1)

kemushi88 (1156073) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982142)

I actually hope that all the news surrounding China's behavior during the olympics will draw attention to their behavior during non-olympic times, and more people will become informed about what is going on out there.

Re:China Olympics (5, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982148)

. The olympics is the one time every four years when athletes of all nations can come together. That serves more for global peace and understanding than petty quarreling, protests, and boycotts. Note, if there was serious shit going on I'll be the at the front of the protest line.
"It doesn't separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. It also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That's why the Olympic Flame should never die." -Adolf Hitler

Re:China Olympics (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982268)

An evil man can occasionally speak the truth, even without holding the spirit of those words dear to his heart.

Re:China Olympics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982840)

Yeah, even Dick Cheney manges to spit out the truth once in awhile.

Re:China Olympics (4, Insightful)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982306)

Hey, even Hitler was right from time to time. As insane and misguided as he may have been, he was occasionally insightful, and the Olympics of 1936 may well have helped to postpone hostilities.

Besides, it would be awfully nice if the Olympics actually did stand for peace and understanding in this day and age -- the politicians barely even pretend anymore.

Re:China Olympics (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982800)

True. The man would not have had as much power as he did if he wasn't a smart person.

Honestly, if Hitler had held off on the genocide, Napoleonism, intolerance, etc, he would have probably been a great leader.

Re:China Olympics (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982486)

I agree with him, I personally don't believe a boycott of the current olympics or advertisers is warranted in this case.

I'd still boycott because of the commercialism involved in the Olympics. The IoC basically acts like a corporation for profit and sells its content just like any professional sports franchise.

IOC say internet must be open for the Olympics (3, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981988)

So: allow access to websites in a foreign language that most Chinese can't understand, for a period of - what - two weeks? And presumably keep a list of everyone who reads those websites? And then back to normal afterwards? Wow, the IOC is really helping to open up China to new ideas about freedom and democracy, isn't it?

Orwellian dystopia made reality (1)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981992)

....but the Chinese speaking edition.

I consider selectively choosing what people can know about the past controlling the past, and we all know what that means...

He who controls the past controls the present.

He who controls the present controls the future.

IOC hypocrites (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982004)

The IOC is a bunch of hypocrites. They ought to tell VANOC the same thing for the 2010 games in Vancouver.

Look what VANOC told me about the "openness" of the Internet:
http://www.abandonedstuff.com/2008/03/03/a-pre-emptive-no-from-vanoc/ [abandonedstuff.com]

They also aren't letting athletes blog openly about the Games, they can't talk about many things.

Re:IOC hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982506)

wtf? Vancouver enforcing copyright on their olympics logo is not comparable to the Chinese firewall.

Having said that, people on SlashDot blow that thing out of proportion. People need to understand the US way is not the only way, and there are much, much worse things in the world than internet censorship. Give me today's censorship over the Tian An Men massacre anyday.

China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982020)

And? (2, Interesting)

beefsprocket (1152865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982024)

I was in Beijing and Guangjou as a Westerner visiting those cities laster January (2007). I made a point of checking wikipedia and had no trouble viewing pages like the English Tiananamen square page. I'm not sure what the big deal is.

From what I hear censorship is more or less being policed socially with less and less DNS interference. Instead of blocking a domain, the police or party representative goes to the internet cafe where activity is taking place (that's easy to trace to an IP etc.) and just asks who has been visiting inappropriate pages.

Maybe I was spoiled as a Westerner with better internet. I dunno, $7USD a night for a hostel in both cities doesn't seem like they'd make a special exception.

I think there's a lot of hype and FUD surrounding the issue, and while it is indisputably an issue, the magnitude and severity is relatively overplayed I think.

Then again, maybe I was being tracked the whole time I was there by invisible Chinese spooks who intercepted and allowed my DNS requests on the fly and tracked my piddly 80211g over a few thousand miles in one day...

Wikipedia is still blocked in Guangzhou, China (1)

PFAK (524350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982054)

It appears that Wikipedia is in fact, still blocked in China. I was talking to a friend in Guangzhou and she is unable to access Wikipedia.

Can anyone else verify that it is still blocked?

Re:Wikipedia is still blocked in Guangzhou, China (3, Insightful)

hayagriva (1260388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983288)

Just opened it now, in Beijing. Seems to be working fine. But of course, the Tiananmen Square Protest page is blocked, still. That's the keyword filter, still chugging along as usual.

Brainwashed (2, Insightful)

coresnake (1215632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982060)

Yep, I have a Chinese friend who always speaks up for the government and everything as if it 'cannot be helped'. Once I asked them about Tiananmen square and they only knew that some students protested there, they didn't even know that anyone was killed! This is the kind of brainwashing and history erasing going on in China and it sickens me. If you control history you control the present..

Re:Brainwashed (1)

kaolin.z (1089257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982188)

Your prejudice against Chinese people just due to difference of opinions sickens me. You are not the one to take the consequences if anything happens to China. Chinese people have to live their lives and they are putting up struggles in their own way. The last thing they want is their opinions being dismissed because they are inferior "brainwashed" people.

Re:Brainwashed (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982328)

Brainwashed doesn't mean inferior, it just means brainwashed. If you're fed the same diet of crap 24/7 you'll believe what you're told, no matter how smart you are.

Just ask any american who's watched too much fox news.

Isn't it impressive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982098)

That's like, 0.001% of the great firewall getting switched off (so they say), for the duration of the games.

I'm sure politicians from all over the world can't wait to heap their congratulations onto this marvelous display of liberty from an exemplary free nation.

and nothing of value was lost. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982100)

seriously? who gives a damn?

Wikipedia Entry on Tiananmen Square protests 1 (1)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982156)

Since you said they were banned (Slashdot's editing system keeps choking on this; let's see if pulling the ideograms out and splitting it into two helps...)

Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
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Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

The Unknown Rebel - This famous photo, taken on 5 June 1989 by photographer Jeff Widener, depicts a lone protester who tried to stop the PLA's advancing tanks.
Literal meaning: June Fourth Incident
[show]Transliterations
Mandarin
- Hanyu Pinyin: Liù-Sì Shìjiàn
Literal meaning: Tiananmen Incident
[show]Transliterations
Mandarin
- Hanyu Pinyin: Tin'nmén Shìjiàn

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and called the June Fourth Incident in China to avoid confusion with the two other Tiananmen Square protests, were a series of demonstrations led by labor activists, students, and intellectuals in the People's Republic of China (PRC) between April 15 and June 4, 1989. While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally against the authoritarianism and economic policies of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and voiced calls for democratic reform within the structure of the government. The demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, but large-scale protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai, which stayed peaceful throughout the protests. In Beijing, the resulting military crackdown on the protesters by the PRC government left many civilians dead or injured. The reported tolls ranged from 200-300 (PRC government figures), to 400-800 (The New York Times), and to 2,000-3,000 (Chinese student associations and Chinese Red Cross).

Following the violence, the government conducted widespread arrests to suppress protestors and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the PRC press. Members of the Party who had publicly sympathized with the protesters were purged, with several high-ranking members placed under house arrest, such as General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. The violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the PRC government.[1]
Contents
[hide]

        * 1 Naming of incident
        * 2 Background
        * 3 Protests begin
        * 4 Protests escalate
                    o 4.1 Nationwide and outside mainland China
        * 5 Government crackdown on the protests
        * 6 Number of deaths
        * 7 Aftermath
                    o 7.1 Arrests and purges
                    o 7.2 Media coverage
                    o 7.3 Impact on domestic political trends
                    o 7.4 Economic impact
        * 8 Issues concerning the Tiananmen protests today
                    o 8.1 Forbidden topic in mainland China
                    o 8.2 History deleted inside mainland China
                    o 8.3 EU-US arms embargo
                    o 8.4 Compensation
        * 9 References in culture
                    o 9.1 Censored books, films and TV shows in mainland China
                    o 9.2 Songs
                    o 9.3 TV
        * 10 See also
        * 11 Notes
        * 12 Further reading
        * 13 External links

[edit] Naming of incident

History of the
People's Republic of China

        1949-1976, The Mao Era
                Revolution
                Korean War
                Hundred Flowers Campaign
                Anti-Rightist Movement
                Great Leap Forward
                        Three Years of Natural Disasters
                Cultural Revolution
                        Lin Biao
                        Gang of Four
                        Tiananmen Incident
        1976-1989, Era of Reconstruction
                Economic reform
                Sino-Vietnamese War
                Tiananmen protests
        1989-2002, A Rising Power
                One Country, Two Systems
                        Hong Kong (post 1997)
                        Macau (post 1999)
                Chinese reunification
        2002-present, China Today

      See also:
                History of China
                History of Beijing
                History of Shanghai
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Mao - Deng - Jiang - Hu
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In the Chinese language, the incident is most commonly known as the June Fourth Movement, the June Fourth Incident, or colloquially, simply Six-four (June 4th) .[citation needed] The nomenclature of the former is consistent with the customary names of the other two great protest actions that occurred in Tiananmen Square: the May Fourth Movement of 1919, and the April Fifth Movement of 1976. In some contexts, "June Fourth Movement" refers more generally to all the student and civil unrest which occurred throughout China, in addition to the events in Beijing and specifically Tiananmen Square. Alternative names referring to either the entire movement or the protests in particular variations of "1989 democracy movement" (pinyin: B-Ji Mínyùn). Other names which have been used in the Chinese language, usually by sympathisers of the pro-democracy movement, include June Fourth Massacre pinyin: Liù-Sì Túchéng or pinyin: Liù-Sì Túsh). The government of the People's Republic of China has referred to the event as the Political Turmoil between Spring and Summer of 1989

[edit] Background
Tiananmen Square as seen from the Tiananmen gate in 2004.
Tiananmen Square as seen from the Tiananmen gate in 2004.

Since 1978, Deng Xiaoping had led a series of economic and political reforms which had led to the gradual implementation of a market economy and some political liberalization that relaxed the system set up by Mao Zedong.

Some students and intellectuals, who believed that the reforms had not gone far enough and that China needed to reform its political systems, since the economic reforms had only affected farmers and factory workers; the incomes of intellectuals lagged far behind those who had benefited from reform policies. They were concerned about the social and political controls that the Communist Party of China still had. In addition, this group saw the political liberalization that had been undertaken in the name of glasnost by Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 were in large measure sparked by the death of former Secretary General Hu Yaobang. Hu Yaobang's "resignation" from the position of Secretary General of the CPC had been announced on January 16, 1987. His forthright calls for "rapid reform" and his almost open contempt of "Maoist excesses" had made him a suitable scapegoat in the eyes of Deng Xiaoping and others, after the pro-democracy student protests of 1986-1987 (Spence 1999, 685). Included in his resignation was also a "humiliating self-criticism", which he was forced to issue by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Hu Yaobang's sudden death, due to heart attack, on April 15, 1989 provided a perfect opportunity for the students to gather once again, not only to mourn the deceased Secretary General, but also to have their voices heard in "demanding a reversal of the verdict against him" and bringing renewed attention to the important issues of the 1986-1987 pro-democracy protests and possibly also to those of the Democracy Wall protests in 1978-1979 (Spence 1999, 697).

[edit] Protests begin
An anonymous drawing posted in a pedestrian walkway underneath Chang An Avenue caricatures Deng Xiaoping (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ) (seated behind the lectern) as an old Chinese emperor.
An anonymous drawing posted in a pedestrian walkway underneath Chang An Avenue caricatures Deng Xiaoping (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ) (seated behind the lectern) as an old Chinese emperor.

Protests started out on a small scale, on April 16 and April 17, in the form of mourning for Hu Yaobang and demands that the party revise their official view of him. On April 18, 10,000 students staged a sit-in on Tian'anmen square, in front of the Great Hall of the People. On the same evening, a few thousand students gathered in front of Zhongnanhai, the residence of the government, demanding to see government leaders. They were dispersed by security.

The protests gained momentum after news of the confrontation between students and police spread; the belief by students that the Chinese media was distorting the nature of their activities also led to increased support (although one national newspaper, the Science and Technology Daily (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ), published, in its issue dated April 19, an account of the April 18 sit-in).

In the night of April 21, the day before Hu's funeral, some 100,000 students marched on Tiananmen square, and gathered there, before the square could be closed off for the funeral. On April 22, they requested, in vain, to meet premier Li Peng (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ), widely regarded to be Hu's political rival. On the same day, protests happened in Xi'an and Changsha.

From April 21 to April 23, students from Beijing called for a strike in universities. Alarm bells rang within the government, which was well aware of the political storm caused by the now-legitimized 1976 Tiananmen Incident. On April 26, following an internal speech made by Deng Xiaoping, the CPC's official newspaper People's Daily issued a front-page editorial titled Uphold the flag to clearly oppose any turmoil, attempting to rally the public behind the government, and accused "extremely small segments of opportunists" of plotting civil unrest.[2] The statement enraged the students, and on April 27 about 50,000 students assembled on the streets of Beijing, disregarding the warning of a crackdown made by authorities, and demanded that the government revoke the statement.

In Beijing, a majority of students from the city's numerous colleges and universities participated with support of their instructors and other intellectuals. The students rejected official Communist Party-controlled student associations and set up their own autonomous associations. The students viewed themselves as Chinese patriots, as the heirs of the May Fourth Movement for "science and democracy" of 1919. The protests also evoked memories of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1976 which had eventually led to the ousting of the Gang of Four. From its origins as a memorial to Hu Yaobang, who was seen by the students as an advocate of democracy, the students' activity gradually developed over the course of their demonstration from protests against corruption into demands for freedom of the press and an end to, or the reform of, the rule of the PRC by the Communist Party of China and Deng Xiaoping, the de facto paramount Chinese leader. Partially successful attempts were made to reach out and network with students in other cities and with workers.

Although the initial protests were made by students and intellectuals who believed that the Deng Xiaoping reforms had not gone far enough and China needed to reform its political systems, they soon attracted the support of urban workers who believed that the reforms had gone too far. This occurred because the leaders of the protests focused on the issue of corruption, which united both groups, and because the students were able to invoke Chinese archetypes of the selfless intellectual who spoke truth to power.

Unlike the Tiananmen protests of 1987, which consisted mainly of students and intellectuals, the protests in 1989 commanded widespread support from the urban workers who were alarmed by growing inflation and corruption. In Beijing, they were supported by a large number of people. Similar numbers were found in major cities throughout mainland China such as Urumqi, Shanghai and Chongqing; and later in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Chinese communities in North America and Europe.

[edit] Protests escalate
"The Goddess of Democracy" carved by students from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and erected in the Square during the protest.
"The Goddess of Democracy" carved by students from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and erected in the Square during the protest.

On May 4, approximately 100,000 students and workers marched in Beijing making demands for free media reform and a formal dialogue between the authorities and student-elected representatives. The government rejected the proposed dialogue, only agreeing to talk to members of appointed student organizations. On May 13, two days prior to the highly-publicized state visit by the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, huge groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square and started a hunger strike, insisting the government withdraw the accusation made in the People's Daily editorial and begin talks with the designated student representatives. Hundreds of students went on hunger strikes and were supported by hundreds of thousands of protesting students and part of the population of Beijing, for one week.

Protests and strikes began at many colleges in other cities, with many students traveling to Beijing to join the demonstration. Generally, the demonstration at Tiananmen Square was well-ordered, with daily marches of students from various Beijing area colleges displaying their solidarity with the boycott of college classes and with the developing demands of the protest. The students sang "The Internationale", the world socialist anthem, on their way to and within the square.[3] The students even showed a surprising gesture of respect to the government by helping police arrest three men from Hunan Province, including Yu Dongyue, who had thrown ink on the large portrait of Mao that hangs from Tiananmen, just north of the square.[4]
Zhao Ziyang speaks on May 19, 1989. Behind him (2nd from right in black) is present State Council Premier Wen Jiabao. This was Zhao's last public appearance before he was placed under house-arrest, where he remained until his death.
Zhao Ziyang speaks on May 19, 1989. Behind him (2nd from right in black) is present State Council Premier Wen Jiabao. This was Zhao's last public appearance before he was placed under house-arrest, where he remained until his death.

The students ultimately decided that in order to sustain their movement and impede any loss of momentum a hunger strike would need to be enacted. The students' decision to undertake the hunger strike was a defining moment in their movement. The hunger strike began in May 1989 and grew to include "more than one thousand persons" (Liu 1994, 315). The hunger strike brought widespread support for the students and "the ordinary people of Beijing rallied to protect the hunger strikers...because the act of refusing sustenance and courting government reprisals convinced onlookers that the students were not just seeking personal gains but (were) sacrificing themselves for the Chinese people as a whole" (Calhoun 1994, 113).

On May 19 at 4:50 am, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang went to the Square and made a speech urging the students to end the hunger strike. Part of his speech was to become a famous quote, when he said, referring to the older generation of people in China, "We are already old, it doesn't matter to us any more." In contrast, the students were young and he urged them to stay healthy and not to sacrifice themselves so easily. Zhao's visit to the Square was his last public appearance.

Partially successful attempts were made to negotiate with the PRC government, who were located nearby in Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party headquarters and leadership compound. Because of the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev, foreign media were present in mainland China in large numbers. Their coverage of the protests was extensive and generally favorable towards the protesters, but pessimistic that they would attain their goals. Toward the end of the demonstration, on May 30, a statue of the Goddess of Democracy was erected in the Square and came to symbolize the protest to television viewers worldwide.

The Standing Committee of the Politburo, along with the party elders (retired but still-influential former officials of the government and Party), were, at first, hopeful that the demonstrations would be short-lived or that cosmetic reforms and investigations would satisfy the protesters. They wished to avoid violence if possible, and relied at first on their far-reaching Party apparatus in attempts to persuade the students to abandon the protest and return to their studies. One barrier to effective action was that the leadership itself supported many of the demands of the students, especially the concern with corruption. However, one large problem was that the protests contained many people with varying agendas, and hence it was unclear with whom the government could negotiate, and what the demands of the protesters were. The confusion and indecision among the protesters was also mirrored by confusion and indecision within the government. The official media mirrored this indecision as headlines in the People's Daily alternated between sympathy with the demonstrators and denouncing them.

Among the top leadership, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was strongly in favour of a soft approach to the demonstrations while Li Peng was seen to argue in favour of a crackdown. Ultimately, the decision to crack down on the demonstrations was made by a group of Party elders who saw abandonment of single-party rule as a return of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.[citation needed] Although most of these people had no official position, they were able to control the military. Deng Xiaoping was chairman of the Central Military Commission and was able to declare martial law; Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China, which, although a symbolic position under the 1982 Constitution, was legally the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Party elders believed that lengthy demonstrations were a threat to the stability of the country. The demonstrators were seen as tools of advocates of "bourgeois liberalism" who were pulling the strings behind the scenes, as well as tools of elements within the party who wished to further their personal ambitions.[citation needed]

[edit] Nationwide and outside mainland China
"Democratic songs dedicated to China" gathering in Hong Kong on May 27, 1989
"Democratic songs dedicated to China" gathering in Hong Kong on May 27, 1989

At the beginning of the movement, the Chinese news media had a rare opportunity to broadcast the news freely and truly. Most of the news media were free to write and report however they wanted due to lack of control from the central and local governments. The news was spread quickly across the land. According to Chinese news media's report, students and workers in over 400 cities, including cities in Inner Mongolia, also organized and started to protest.[5] People also traveled to the capital to join the protest in the Square.

University students in Shanghai also took to the streets to commemorate the death of Hu Yaobang and protest against certain policies of the government. In many cases, these were supported by the universities' Party committees. Jiang Zemin, then-Municipal Party Secretary, addressed the student protesters in a bandage, and expressed his understanding as a former student agitator before 1949. At the same time, he moved swiftly to send in police forces to control the streets, and purge Communist Party leaders who had supported the students.

On April 19, the editors of the World Economic Herald, a magazine close to reformists, decided to publish, in their April 24 #439 issue, a commemorative section on Hu. Inside was an article by Yan Jiaqi, which commented favourably on the Beijing student protests on April 18, and called for a reassessment of Hu's purge in 1987. On April 21, a party official of Shanghai asked the editor in chief, Qin Benli, to change some passages. Qin Benli refused, and Chen had to turn to Jiang Zemin, who demanded that the article be censored. By that time, a first batch of copies of the paper had already been delivered. The remaining copies were published with a blank page [6]. On April 26, the "People's Daily" published its editorial condemning the student protest. Jiang followed this cue and suspended Qin Benli. His quick rise to power following the 1989 protests has been attributed to his decisive handling of these two events.

In Hong Kong, on May 27, 1989, over 300,000 people gathered at Happy Valley Racecourse for a gathering called "Democratic songs dedicated for China." Many famous Hong Kong and Taiwanese celebrities sang songs and expressed their support for the students in Beijing. On the following day May 28, a procession led by Martin Lee, Szeto Wah and other organization leaders, paraded through Hong Kong Island; 1.5 million participated.

Across the world, at many other places where Chinese lived, they gathered around and protested. Many governments, such as USA, Japan, etc, also issued warnings, advised their own citizens not to go to the PRC.

[edit] Government crackdown on the protests

Although the government declared martial law on May 20, the military's entry into Beijing was blocked by throngs of protesters, and the army was eventually ordered to withdraw. Meanwhile, the demonstrations continued. The hunger strike was approaching the end of the third week, and the government resolved to end the matter before deaths occurred. After deliberation among Communist party leaders, the use of military force to resolve the crisis was ordered, and a deep divide in the politburo resulted. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was ousted from political leadership as a result of his support for the demonstrators. The military also lacked unity on the issue, and purportedly did not indicate immediate support for a crackdown, leaving the central leadership scrambling to search for individual divisions willing to comply with their orders.[citation needed]

Soldiers and tanks from the 27th and 28th Armies of the People's Liberation Army were sent to take control of the city. The 27th Army was led by a commander related to Yang Shangkun. In a press conference, US President Bush announced sanctions on the People's Republic of China, following calls to action from members of Congress such as US Senator Jesse Helms. The President suggested that intelligence he had received indicated some disunity in China's military ranks, and even the possibility of clashes within the military during those days. Intelligence reports also indicated that 27th and 28th units were brought in from outside provinces because the local PLA were considered to be sympathetic to the protest and the people of the city. Reporters described elements of the 27th as having been most responsible for civilian deaths. After the attack on the square, the 27th reportedly established defensive positions in Beijing - not of the sort designed to counter a civilian uprising, but as if to defend against attacks by other military units. The locally-stationed 38th Army, on the other hand, was reportedly sympathetic to the uprising. They were supplied no ammunition, and were said to be torching their own vehicles as they abandoned them to join the protests.[citation needed]

Entry of the troops into the city was actively opposed by many citizens of Beijing. Protesters burned public buses and used them as roadblocks to stop the military's progress. The battle continued on the streets surrounding the Square, with protesters repeatedly advancing toward the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and constructing barricades with vehicles, while the PLA attempted to clear the streets using tear gas, rifles, and tanks. Many injured citizens were saved by rickshaw drivers who ventured into the no-man's-land between the soldiers and crowds and carried the wounded off to hospitals. After the attack on the square, live television coverage showed many people wearing black armbands in protest of the government's action, crowding various boulevards or congregating by burnt out and smoking barricades. Meanwhile, the PLA systematically established checkpoints around the city, chasing after protesters and blocking off the university district.

Within the Square itself, there was a debate between those who wished to withdraw peacefully, including Han Dongfang, and those who wished to stand within the square, such as Chai Ling.

The assault on the square began at 10:30 p.m. on June 3, as armored personnel carriers (APCs) and armed troops with fixed bayonets approached from various positions. These APCs rolled on up the roads, firing ahead and off to the sides, perhaps killing or wounding their own soldiers in the process. BBC reporter Kate Adie spoke of "indiscriminate fire" within the square. Students who sought refuge in buses were pulled out by groups of soldiers and beaten with heavy sticks. Even students attempting to leave the square were beset by soldiers and beaten. Leaders of the protest inside the square, where some had attempted to erect flimsy barricades ahead of the APCs, were said to have "implored" the students not to use weapons (such as Molotov cocktails) against the oncoming soldiers. Meanwhile, many students apparently were shouting, "Why are you killing us?" By 5:40 a.m. the following morning, June 4, the Square had been "cleared".

The suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man in a white shirt standing in front of a column of tanks which were attempting to drive out of Tiananmen Square. Taken on June 5 as the column approached an intersection on the Avenue of Eternal Peace, the footage depicted the unarmed man standing in the center of the street, halting the tanks' progress. He reportedly said, "Why are you here? You have caused nothing but misery." As the tank driver attempted to go around him, the "tank man" moved into the tank's path. He continued to stand defiantly in front of the tanks for some time, then climbed up onto the turret of the lead tank to speak to the soldiers inside. After returning to his position blocking the tanks, the man was pulled aside by onlookers who perhaps feared he would be shot or run over. Time Magazine dubbed him The Unknown Rebel and later named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. British tabloid the Sunday Express reported that the man was 19-year-old student Wang Weilin, however, the veracity of this claim is dubious. What happened to the 'tank man' following the demonstration is not known. In a speech to the President's Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn -- former deputy special assistant to President Richard Nixon -- reported that he was executed 14 days later. In Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, Jan Wong writes that the man is still alive and hiding in mainland China. In Forbidden City, Canadian children's author William Bell, claims the man was named Wang Ai-min and was killed on June 9 after being taken into custody. The last official statement from the PRC government about the tank man came from Jiang Zemin in a 1990 interview with Barbara Walters, when asked about the whereabouts of the tank man, Jiang responded that the young man was "I think never killed".[7]

After the crackdown in Beijing on June 4, protests continued in much of mainland China for several days. There were large protests in Hong Kong, where people again wore black in protest. There were protests in Guangzhou, and large-scale protests in Shanghai with a general strike. There were also protests in other countries, many adopting the use of black arm bands as well. However, the government soon regained control. Although no large-scale loss of life was reported in ending the protests in other cities, a political purge followed in which officials responsible for organizing or condoning the protests were removed, and protest leaders jailed.

[edit] Number of deaths

The number of dead and wounded remains unclear because of the large discrepancies between the different estimates. The Chinese government never released any exact official data or list of the deceased.

According to Nicholas D. Kristof "The true number of deaths will probably never be known, and it is possible that thousands of people were killed without leaving evidence behind. But based on the evidence that is now available, it seems plausible that about a dozen soldiers and policemen were killed, along with 400 to 800 civilians." One reason the number may never be known is suspicion that Chinese troops may have quickly removed and disposed of bodies. [8]

The Chinese government has maintained that there were no deaths within the square itself, although videos taken there at the time recorded the sound of gunshots. Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and State Council claimed that "hundreds of PLA soldiers died and more were injured".[citation needed] Yuan Mu, the spokesman of the State Council, said that a total of about 300 people died, most of them soldiers, along with a number of people he described as "ruffians".[9] According to Chen Xitong, Beijing mayor, 200 civilians and several dozen soldiers died.[10] Other sources stated that 3,000 civilians and 6,000 soldiers injured.[11] In May 2007, CPPCC member from Hong Kong, Chang Ka-mun said 300 to 600 people were killed in Tiananmen Square. He echoed that "there were armed thugs who weren't students".[12]

However, foreign journalists who witnessed the incident have claimed that at least 3,000 people died. Some lists of casualties were created from underground sources with numbers as high as 5,000.[13]

Ambassador James Lilley's account of the massacre notes that State Department diplomats witnessed Chinese troops opening fire on unarmed people and based on visits to hospitals around Beijing a minimum of hundreds had been killed.[14]

A strict focus on the number of deaths within Tiananmen Square itself does not give an accurate picture of the carnage and overall death count since Chinese civilians were fired on in the streets surrounding Tiananmen Square. And students are reported to have been fired on after they left the Square, especially in the area near the Beijing concert hall. [8]

Statistics and estimates generated from different groups of sources would indicate:

        * 4,000 to 6,000 civilians killed - Edward Timperlake.[15]
        * 2,600 had officially died by the morning of June 4 (later denied) - the Chinese Red Cross.[10] An unnamed Chinese Red Cross official estimated that, in total, 5,000 people killed and 30,000 injured.[16]
        * 1,000 deaths - Amnesty International[10]
        * 7,000 deaths (6,000 civilians and 1,000 soldiers) - NATO intelligence.[15]
        * 10,000 deaths in total - Soviet Bloc estimates.[15]
        * in excess of 3,700 killed, excluding disappearance or secret deaths and those denied of medical treatment - PLA defector citing a document circulating among officers.[15]
        * 186 named individuals confirmed dead as at the end of June 2006 - Professor Ding Zilin.[17]

[edit] Aftermath

[edit] Arrests and purges

During and after the demonstration, the authorities attempted to arrest and prosecute the student leaders of the Chinese democracy movement, notably Wang Dan, Chai Ling, Zhao Changqing and Wuer Kaixi. Wang Dan was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison, then allowed to emigrate to the United States on the grounds of medical parole. As a lesser figure in the demonstrations, Zhao was released after six months in prison. However, he was once again incarcerated for continuing to petition for political reform in China. Wuer Kaixi escaped to Taiwan. He is now married and he holds a job as a political commentator on national Taiwan television.[citation needed] Chai Ling escaped to France, and then to the United States. In a recent public speech given at the University of Michigan[18], Wang Dan commented on the current status of former student leaders: Chai Ling started a hi-tech company in the U.S. and were permitted to come back to China and do business; Li Lu became an investment banker in Wall Street and started his company. As to himself, Wang Dan said his plan was to find an academic job in the U.S. after receiving his PhD from Harvard University, although he was eager to come back to China if permitted.

Smaller protest actions continued in other cities for a few days. Some university staff and students who had witnessed the killings in Beijing organised or spurred commemorative events on their return. However, these were quickly put down, and those responsible were purged.

Chinese authorities summarily tried and executed many of the workers they arrested in Beijing. In contrast, the students - many of whom came from relatively affluent backgrounds and were well-connected - received much lighter sentences. Even Wang Dan, the student leader who topped the most wanted list, spent only seven years in prison. Nevertheless, many of the students and university staff implicated were permanently politically stigmatized, some never to be employed again.

The Party leadership expelled Zhao Ziyang from the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (PSC), because he opposed martial law, and Zhao remained under house arrest until his death. Hu Qili, the other member of the PSC who opposed the martial law but abstained from voting, was also removed from that committee. He was however able to retain his party membership, and after "changing his opinion", was reassigned as deputy minister of Machine-Building and Electronics Industry. Another reform minded Chinese leader, Wan Li, was also put under house arrest immediately after he stepped out of the airplane at Beijing Capital International Airport upon returning from his shortened trip abroad, with the official excuse of "health reasons". When Wan Li was released from his house arrest after he finally "changed his opinion" he, like Qiao Shi, was transferred to a different position with equal rank but mostly ceremonial role.

The event elevated Jiang Zemin - then Mayor of Shanghai who was not involved in this event - to become PRC's President. Members of the government prepared a white paper explaining the government's viewpoint on the protests. An anonymous source within the PRC government smuggled the document out of China, and Public Affairs published it in January 2001 as the Tiananmen Papers. The papers include a quote by Communist Party elder Wang Zhen which alludes to the government's response to the demonstrations.

Two news anchors who reported this event on June 4 in the daily 1900 hours (7:00 pm) news report on China Central Television were fired because they showed their sad emotions. Wu Xiaoyong, the son of a Communist Party of China Central Committee member, and former PRC foreign minister and vice premier Wu Xueqian were removed from the English Program Department of Chinese Radio International. Qian Liren, director of the People's Daily (the newspaper of the Communist Party of China), was also removed from his post because of reports in the paper which were sympathetic towards the students.

[edit] Media coverage

The Tiananmen Square protests damaged the reputation of the PRC in the West. Western media had been invited to cover the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev in May, and were thus in an excellent position to cover some of the government crackdown live through networks such as the BBC and CNN. Protestors seized this opportunity, creating signs and banners designed for international television audiences. Coverage was further facilitated by the sharp conflicts within the Chinese government about how to handle the protests. Thus broadcasting was not immediately stopped.

All international networks were eventually ordered to terminate broadcasts from the city during the crackdown with the government shutting down the satellite transmissions. Broadcasters attempted to defy these orders by reporting via telephone. Footage was quickly smuggled out of the country, including the image of "the unknown rebel." The only network which was able to record some images during the night was TVE.[19][20]

CBS correspondent Richard Roth and his cameraman were imprisoned during the crackdown. Roth was taken into custody while in the midst of filing a report from the Square via mobile phone. In a frantic voice, he could be heard repeatedly yelling what sounded like "Oh, no! Oh, no!" before the phone was disconnected. He was later released, suffering a slight injury to his face in a scuffle with Chinese authorities attempting to confiscate his phone. Roth later explained he had actually been saying, "Let go!"

Images of the protests - along with the collapse of Communism that was occurring at the same time in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe - would strongly shape Western views and policy toward the PRC throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century. There was considerable sympathy for the student protests among Chinese students in the West. Almost immediately, both the United States and the European Economic Community announced an arms embargo, and China's image as a reforming country and a valuable ally against the Soviet Union was replaced by that of a repressive authoritarian regime. The Tiananmen protests were frequently invoked to argue against trade liberalization with mainland China and by the United States' Blue Team as evidence that the PRC government was an aggressive threat to world peace and US interests.

Among overseas Chinese students, the Tiananmen Square protests triggered the formation of Internet news services such as the China News Digest and the NGO China Support Network. In the aftermath of Tiananmen, organizations such as the China Alliance for Democracy and the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars were formed, although these organizations would have limited political impact beyond the mid-1990s.

[edit] Impact on domestic political trends

The Tiananmen square protests dampened the growing concept of political liberalization that was popular in the late 1980s; as a result, many democratic reforms that were proposed during the 1980s were swept under the carpet. Although there has been an increase in personal freedom since then, discussions on structural changes to the PRC government and the role of the Communist Party of China remain largely taboo.

Despite early expectations in the West that PRC government would soon collapse and be replaced by the Chinese democracy movement, by the early 21st century the Communist Party of China remained in firm control of the People's Republic of China, and the student movement which started at Tiananmen was in complete disarray.

In Hong Kong, the Tiananmen square protests led to fears that the PRC would not honour its commitments under one country, two systems in the impending handover in 1997. One consequence of this was that the new governor Chris Patten attempted to expand the franchise for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong which led to friction with the PRC. There have been large candlelight vigils attended by tens of thousands in Hong Kong every year since 1989 and these vigils have continued following the transfer of power to the PRC in 1997.

The protests also marked a shift in the political conventions which governed politics in the People's Republic. Prior to the protests, under the 1982 Constitution, the President was a largely symbolic role. By convention, power was distributed between the positions of President, Premier, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, all of whom were intended to be different people, in order to prevent the excesses of Mao-style dictatorship. However, after Yang Shangkun used his reserve powers as head of state to mobilize the military, the Presidency again became a position imbued with real power. Subsequently, the President became the same person as the General Secretary of the CPC, and wielded paramount power.

In 1989, neither the Chinese military nor the Beijing police had adequate anti-riot gear, such as rubber bullets and tear gas commonly used in Western nations to break up riots.[21] After the Tiananmen Square protests, riot police in Chinese cities were equipped with non-lethal equipment for riot control.
A memorial depicting a destroyed bicycle and a tank track -- symbol of the Tiananmen Square protests -- in the Polish city of Wrocaw
A memorial depicting a destroyed bicycle and a tank track -- symbol of the Tiananmen Square protests -- in the Polish city of Wrocaw

[edit] Economic impact

The Tiananmen protests did not mark the end of economic reform. Granted, in the immediate aftermath of the protests, conservatives within the Communist Party attempted to curtail some of the free market reforms that had been undertaken as part of Chinese economic reform, and reinstitute administrative controls over the economy. However, these efforts met with stiff resistance from provincial governors and broke down completely in the early 1990s as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Deng Xiaoping's trip to the south. The continuance of economic reform led to economic growth in the 1990s, which allowed the government to regain much of the support that it had lost in 1989. In addition, none of the current PRC leadership played any active role in the decision to move against the demonstrators, and one major leadership figure Premier Wen Jiabao was an aide to Zhao Ziyang and accompanied him to meet the demonstrators. Today there are economic "sectors" in which business can thrive and this has opened up economic freedom and access to goods.

The protest leaders at Tiananmen were unable to produce a coherent movement or ideology that would last past the mid-1990s. Many of the student leaders came from relatively well off sectors of society and were seen as out of touch with common people. A number of them were socialists. Many of the organizations which were started in the aftermath of Tiananmen soon fell apart due to personal infighting. Several overseas democracy activists were supportive of limiting trade with mainland China which significantly decreased their popularity both within China and among the overseas Chinese community. A number of NGOs based in the U.S., which aim to bring democratic reform to China and relentlessly protest human rights violations that occur in China, remain. One of the oldest and most prominent of them, the China Support Network (CSN), was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned Americans and Chinese activists in response to Tiananmen Square.

[edit] Issues concerning the Tiananmen protests today

[edit] Forbidden topic in mainland China

Unlike the Cultural Revolution, about which people can still easily find information through government approved books, Internet sites, etc, this topic completely disappeared from any media (including books, magazines, newspapers and internet web sites) inside mainland China. It is a forbidden topic by the Chinese government. And the Chinese government brainwashed its citizens at the time into forgetting the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, even to the point of beating several people (especially the victims' friends and families) into giving them amnesia[22].

The official media in mainland China views the crackdown as a necessary reaction to ensure stability. It is common for Chinese youth to be entirely unaware of the Tiananmen protests.[23] Every year there is a large rally in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, where people remember the victims and demand that the CPC's official view be changed.

Petition letters over the incident have emerged from time to time, notably from Dr. Jiang Yanyong and Tiananmen Mothers, an organization founded by a mother of one of the victims killed in 1989 where the families seek vindication, compensation for their lost sons, and the right to receive donations, particularly from abroad.[24] Tiananmen Square is tightly patrolled on the anniversary of June 4 to prevent any commemoration on the Square.

After the PRC Central Government reshuffle in 2004, several cabinet members mentioned Tiananmen. In October 2004, during President Hu Jintao's visit to France, he reiterated that "the government took determined action to calm the political storm of 1989, and enabled China to enjoy a stable development." He insisted that the government's view on the incident would not change.

In March 2004, Premier Wen Jiabao said in a press conference that during the 1990s there was a severe political storm in the PRC, amid the breakdown of the Soviet Union and radical changes in Eastern Europe. He stated that the Communist Central Committee successfully stabilized the open-door policy and protected the "Career of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics".

[edit] History deleted inside mainland China

Currently, due to strong Chinese government censorship including Internet censorship, the news media is forbidden to report anything related to the protests. The event has been almost completely absent from Chinese media, including the Internet. No one is allowed to make any web sites related to the protests.[citation needed] A search on the Internet in Mainland China largely returns no results apart from the government-mandated version of the events and the official view, which are mostly found on Websites of People's Daily and other heavily-controlled media.

In January 2006, Google agreed to censor their mainland China site, Google.cn, to remove information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre,[25] as well as other topics such as Tibetan independence, the banned spiritual practice Falun Gong and the political status of Taiwan. When people search for those censored topics, it will list the following at the bottom of the page in Chinese, "According to the local laws, regulations and policies, part of the searching result is not shown." The uncensored Wikipedia articles on the 1989 protests, both in English and Chinese Wikipedia, have been attributed as a cause of the blocking of Wikipedia by the government in mainland China.

In 2006, the American PBS program "Frontline" broadcast a segment filmed at Peking University, many of whose students participated in the 1989 protests. Four students were shown a picture of the Tank man, but none of them could identify what was happening in the photo. Some responded that it was a military parade, or an artwork. [1]

On May 15, 2007, the leader of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, Ma Lik, provoked much criticism when he said that "there was not a massacre" during the protests, as there was "no intentional and indiscriminate shooting." He said this showed Hong Kong was "not mature enough" for believing foreigners' rash claims that a massacre took place. He said that Hong Kong showed through its lack of patriotism and national identity, that it would thus "not be ready for democracy until 2022."[26] His remarks were met with wide condemnation.

On June 4, 2007, the anniversary of the massacre, an ad reading, "Paying tribute to the strong-(willed) mothers of June 4 victims" was published in the Chengdu Evening News newspaper. The matter is currently being investigated by the Chinese government, and three editors have since been fired from the paper.[27][28] The clerk who approved the ad had reportedly never heard of the June 4 crackdown and had been told that the date was a reference to a mining disaster.[29]

Re:Wikipedia Entry on Tiananmen Square protests 2 (1)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982160)

[edit] EU-US arms embargo

The European Union and United States embargo on weapons sales to the PRC, put in place as a result of the violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, still remains in place. The PRC has been calling for a lifting of the ban for many years and has had a varying amount of support from members of the Council of the European Union. In early 2004, France spearheaded a movement within the EU to lift the ban. Former German Chancellor Gerhard SchrÃder publicly added his voice to that of former French President Jacques Chirac to have the embargo lifted.

The arms embargo was discussed at a PRC-EU summit in the Netherlands between December 7 and 9, 2004. In the run-up to the summit, the PRC had attempted to increase pressure on the EU Council to lift the ban by warning that the ban could hurt PRC-EU relations. PRC Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui had called the ban "outdated", and he told reporters, "If the ban is maintained, bilateral relations will definitely be affected." In the end, the EU Council did not lift the ban. EU spokeswoman FranÃoise le Bail said there were still concerns about the PRC's commitment to human rights. But at the time, the EU did state a commitment to work towards lifting the ban.

The PRC continued to press for the embargo to be lifted, and some member states began to drop their opposition. Jacques Chirac pledged to have the ban lifted by mid-2005. However, the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China passing in March 2005 increased cross-strait tensions, damaging attempts to lift the ban, and several EU Council members changed their minds. Members of the U.S. Congress had also proposed restrictions on the transfer of military technology to the EU if they lifted the ban. Thus the EU Council failed to reach a consensus, and although France and Germany pushed to have the embargo lifted, the embargo was maintained.

Britain took charge of the EU Presidency in July 2005, making the lifting of the embargo all but impossible for the duration of that period. Britain had always had some reservations on lifting the ban and wished to put it to the side, rather than sour EU-US relations further. Other issues such as the failure of the European Constitution and the ensuing disagreement over the European Budget and Common Agricultural Policy superseded the matter of the embargo in importance. Britain wanted to use its presidency to push for wholesale reform of the EU, so the lifting of the ban became even more unlikely. The election of José Manuel Barroso as European Commission President also made a lifting of the ban more difficult. At a meeting with Chinese leaders in mid-July 2005, he said that China's poor record on human rights would slow any changes to the EU's ban on arms sales to China.[30]

Political will also changed in countries that had previously been more in favor of lifting the embargo. SchrÃder lost the 2005 German federal election to Angela Merkel, who became chancellor on November 22, 2005 - Merkel made her position clear that she was strongly against lifting the ban. Jacques Chirac declared he would not stand again as a candidate for the French Presidency in 2007. His successor, Nicolas Sarkozy, is more pro-American and less in favour of lifting the embargo compared to Chirac.

In addition, the European Parliament has consistently opposed the lifting of the arms embargo to the PRC. Though its agreement is not necessary for lifting the ban, many argue it reflects the will of the European people better as it is the only directly elected European bodyâ"the EU Council is appointed by member states. The European Parliament has repeatedly opposed any lifting of the arms embargo on the PRC:

        * The resolution of April 28, 2005, on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004 and the EU's policy on the matter,
        * The resolution of October 23, 2003, on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP, it insisted on a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue through dialogue across the Taiwan Straits and called on China to withdraw missiles in the coastal provinces adjacent to the Taiwan Straits, and
        * The resolution on relations between the EU, China and Taiwan and security in the Far East of July 7, 2005. The EP has noted several times that the current human rights situation in China, with regards to fundamental civil, cultural and political freedoms does not meet even the international standards recognized by China.

The arms embargo has limited China's options from where it may seek military hardware. Among the sources that were sought included the former Soviet bloc that it had a strained relationship with as a result of the Sino-Soviet split. Other willing suppliers have previously included Israel and South Africa, but American pressure has restricted future co-operation.[citation needed]

[edit] Compensation

Although the Chinese government never officially acknowledged wrongdoing when it came to the incident, in April 2006 a payment was made to the family of one of the victims, the first publicized case of the government offering redress to a Tiananmen-related victim's family. The payment was termed a "hardship assistance", given to Tang Deying (å"å¾è±) whose son, Zhou Guocong (simplified Chinese: å'å½è; traditional Chinese: å'åoeè) died at the age of 15 while in police custody in Chengdu on June 6, 1989, two days after the Chinese Army dispersed the Tiananmen protestors. The woman was reportedly paid 70,000 yuan (approximately $8,700 USD), which is quite a significant amount in China. This has been welcomed by various Chinese activists, but was regarded by some as a measure to maintain social stability and not believed to herald a changing of the Party's official position.[31]

[edit] References in culture
Execution, a painting inspired by the event became the most expensive Chinese contemporary art sold in 2007
Execution, a painting inspired by the event became the most expensive Chinese contemporary art sold in 2007

[edit] Censored books, films and TV shows in mainland China

        * In 2006, the film Summer Palace was banned in China, ostensibly because it was screened without permission, but likely also because of its mention of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
        * In May of 2007, the book "Collection of June Fourth Poems" were banned in China.
        * In July of 2007, the book "Zhao Ziyang's words during his housearrest" was also banned in China.

[edit] Songs
        Trivia sections are discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines.
The article could be improved by integrating relevant items and removing inappropriate ones.

        * The Hooters recorded the American Civil War-era song "500 Miles" in 1989 on their album Zig Zag, with folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, and included new lyrics referencing the protest ("A hundred tanks along the square, One man stands and stops them there").
        * Billy Joel's history-themed song "We Didn't Start the Fire" ("China's under martial law")
        * Siouxsie and the Banshees - "The Ghost In You" (from the album Superstition -1991)
        * Leonard Cohenâ(TM)s âoeDemocracyâ (âoeâ¦from those nights in Tiananmen Squareâ)
        * Joan Baez's 1989 song "China"
        * Nevermore's "The Tiananmen Man"
        * Roger Waters's 1992 "Watching TV" on the solo album Amused to Death
        * Tenacious D's "Karate"
        * Ellis Paul's "Did Galileo Pray?" ("Truth will march in Birmingham/ It will block the tanks in Tiananmen")
        * System of a Down's "Hypnotize" ("Why Don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen square, Was fashion the reason why they were there?")
        * The Cure's "Faith" on the same day as the disaster, dedicated to the people who died.
        * Around the same time as the incident, many Taiwanese pop singers gathered to sing a special song called æåçsåå£ The wound of the history. The song became one of many that even today regularly arouses feelings among many overseas Chinese, especially those who support democracy, for the devastating impact the protests resulted on China.
        * Rancid's "Arrested in Shanghai" from album Indestructible, there is a line in the lyrics: So I protest the massacres at the Tiannamen Square.
        * Rage Against the Machine's "Roll Right" which includes the lyrics; "Lick off the shot my stories shock you like Ellison, main line adrenalin, Gaza to Tiananmen"
        * "Tin Omen" by Canadian band Skinny Puppy contains references to the protests as well as the protests at the Kent State University in Ohio, USA.
        * Jin's "Song Cry" from his album "The Rest is History" paid tribute to those fallen protesters during the Tiananmen massacre.
        * BjÃrn Afzelius song with the Swedish name "Himmelska fridens torg"(Tiananmen Square).
        * R.E.M.'s Shiny Happy People
        * Matchbox Twenty's How Far We've Come
        * (hed) pe 's Tiananmen Squared
        * John Vanderslice's Do you remember from his album Time Travel Is Lonely is regarding the Tank Man or Unknown Rebel incident
        * Janet Jackson's album Rhythm Nation opens with the sound of a television being flipped from channel to channel. One channel features a newsreader saying "... iananman Square today..."
        * Anti-Flag's "What's the difference" compares the Seattle Riots of 1999 at WTO Conference with Tiananmen: "Our leaders decry Tiananmen/And dare to speak of freedom/As they unleash our cops on us/So... what's... the fuckin' difference"
        * Tornts feat. Billy Bunks - Booze Bastards: "At the bar we in there, getting tanked like Tiananmen Square"

[edit] TV

        * CNN news anchor Kyra Phillips drew criticism in March 2006 when she compared the 2006 labor protests in France, in which it was later determined that no one was killed, to the Tiananmen Square protests, saying "Sort of brings back memories of Tiananmen Square, when you saw these activists in front of tanks."[32] CNN's Chris Burns told French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy that her comments were "regrettable".[33]
        * In The Simpsons episode Goo Goo Gai Pan, there is a plaque that reads, "On this spot in 1989, nothing happened", in Tiananmen Square, a reference to the Chinese Government's denial of the protests.

[edit] See also

        * Zhang Zhixin
        * History of the People's Republic of China
        * May Fourth Movement
        * April Fifth Movement
        * The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China
        * Pillar of Shame
        * Executive Order 12711
        * Yan'an Rectification Movement
        * Persecution of Falun Gong
        * Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident
        * Tank Man

[edit] Notes

      1. ^ Nathan, Andrew J. (January/February 2001). The Tiananmen Papers. Foreign Affairs.
      2. ^ Xinhua: Full text of the 4-26 Editorial
      3. ^ Amnesty International, 30 August 1989. Preliminary Findings on Killings of Unarmed Civilians, Arbitrary Arrests and Summary Executions Since 3 June 1989, p.19
      4. ^ The Gate of Heavenly Peace, movie script, 1995
      5. ^ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/view/ [pbs.org] Tens of Millions of Protesters
      6. ^ Kate Wright, the Political Fortunes of the World Economic Herald, Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, nr 23, pp 121-132 (1990)
      7. ^ TIME 100: The Unknown Rebel
      8. ^ a b A Reassessment of How Many Died In the Military Crackdown in Beijing, The New York Times, June 21, 1989
      9. ^ China Makes Zhao Purge Formal, But He Still Gets to Be a Comrade, New York Times, July 1, 1989
    10. ^ a b c How Many Really Died? Time magazine, June 04, 1990
    11. ^ å...åæ'é (June4th 1989 Archive) (Chinese).
    12. ^ Damon Pang, `Massacre' remarks trigger sharp exchange at City Forum, The Standard, May 21, 2007
    13. ^ CSN warns Americans about the AP's "climb down" on Tiananmen numbers, CSN, May 18, 2004
    14. ^ Lilley, James, China Hands, 322.
    15. ^ a b c d Timperlake, Edward. [1999] (1999). Red Dragon Rising. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0895262584
    16. ^ Sino-American Relations: One Year After the Massacre at Tiananmen Square. [2005] (1991). US congress publishing. No ISBN digitized archive via Stanford University
    17. ^ List of casualties, Ding Zilin, Retrieved 2007-05-21 (Chinese)
    18. ^ Blog: A talk by Wang Dan (Chinese) (2007-11-20)
    19. ^ Interview with Eugenio Bregolat, Spanish ambassador in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square protests (Spanish) (2007-08-09)
    20. ^ Eugenio Bregolat. "TVE in Tiananmen", La Vanguardia, 2007-06-04. Retrieved on 2007-09-04. (Spanish)
    21. ^ Chinese human rights official says the crackdown 'completely correct' Rebecca MacKinnon, "Tiananmen Ten Years Later." CNN, 2 June 1999.
    22. ^ The Tank Man, Part 6:The Struggle to Control Information, Frontline, April 11, 2006
    23. ^ The Tank Man, Part 6:The Struggle to Control Information, Frontline, April 11, 2006
    24. ^ Relatives of dead at Tiananmen seek review, The Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, May 31, 2006
    25. ^ Google censors itself for China, BBC News, January 25, 2006
    26. ^ Ambrose Leung, "Fury at DAB chief's Tiananmen tirade", Page 1, South China Morning Post, May 16, 2007
    27. ^ China investigates Tiananmen ad. Reuters (2007-06-05). Retrieved on 2007-06-05.
    28. ^ Chengdu Evening News editors fired over Tiananmen ad. Reuters (2007-06-07). Retrieved on 2007-06-07.
    29. ^ Young clerk let Tiananmen ad slip past censors: paper. Reuters (2007-06-06). Retrieved on 2007-06-07.
    30. ^ Daniel Griffiths, EC leader urges China to reform, BBC News, July 15, 2005
    31. ^ China makes 1989 Tiananmen payout. BBC News (2006-04-30).
    32. ^ "French protests 'Tiananmen'", FIN24, 2006-03-28. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
    33. ^ "OBSERVER: Just a little comment", Financial Times, 30 Mar 2006. Retrieved on 2007-03-29.

[edit] Further reading

        * The New Emperors: China in the Era of Mao and Deng, Harrison E. Salisbury, New York, 1992, Avon Books, ISBN 0-380-72025-6.
        * The Tiananmen Papers, The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against their Own Peopleâ"In their Own Words, Compiled by Zhang Liang, Edited by Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link, with an afterword by Orville Schell, PublicAffairs, New York, 2001, hardback, 514 pages, ISBN 1-58648-012-X An extensive review and synopis of The Tiananmen papers in the journal Foreign Affairs may be found at Review and synopsis in the journal Foreign Affairs.
        * June Fourth: The True Story, Tian'anmen Papers/Zhongguo Liusi Zhenxiang Volumes 1â"2 (Chinese edition), Zhang Liang, ISBN 962-8744-36-4
        * Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, Jan Wong, Doubleday, 1997, trade paperback, 416 pages, ISBN 0-385-48232-9 (Contains, besides extensive autobiographical material, an eyewitness account of the Tiananmen crackdown and the basis for an estimate of the number of casualties.)
        * Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. New York: Norton, 1999.
        * Craig C. Calhoun. "Science, Democracy, and the Politics of Identity." In Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China. Edited by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Elizabeth J. Perry, 140-7. Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1994.
        * Liu Xiaobo. "That Holy Word, "Revolution." In Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China. Edited by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Elizabeth J. Perry, 140-7. Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1994.
        * Spence, Jonathan D. "Testing the Limits." In "The Search for Modern China". 701. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999
        * Black, George, and Robin Munro. Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China's Democracy Movement. New York: John Wiley, 1993.

[edit] External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

        * "The Tank Man", 2006 PBS documentary
        * Human Rights in China's Section on 1989 Democracy movement
        * BBC Creative archive footage Clip 1, Clip 2 (accessible from the UK only)
        * BBC's "On This Day" report about Tiananmen Protests
        * BBC's "Witnessing Tiananmen: Clearing the square" with eyewitness accounts of Tiananmen
        * The U.S. "Tiananmen Papers" - US Perceptions of the crisis
        * Graham Earnshaw's eye witness account of events on the night of June 4
        * Eyewitness account of the massacre from a Marxist's Perspective
        * The Myth of Tiananmen And the Price of a Passive Press, by Jay Mathews, Columbia Journalism Review
        * The Tiananmen Square Confrontation, Alternative Insight
        * The Virtual Museum of China '89
        * Eyeballing Tiananmen Square Massacre - Photo Gallery
        * Tiananmen Square, 1989 The Declassified History
        * Victims of June 4th Massacre
        * The Gate of Heavenly Peace - Feature-length Documentary

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989"
Categories: Conflicts in 1989 | 1989 in China | Massacres in China | History of Beijing | Political repression in the People's Republic of China | Protests | History of the People's Republic of China

creators' planet/population rescue kode available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982186)

in every language. it's also user friendly, totally secure, & absolutely bug free, as well as free by all known definitions. see you there? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

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dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

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the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

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& pretending that it isn't happening here;

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all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

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China is opening up, but slowly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982232)

I'm getting a little tired of people yelling about how China should be more open and less restrictive and such. Especially when the whole tone is clearly aiming at "it should have been done so yesterday". Then I can only say: "Get real!". China is opening up, people are gaining more freedom. However the process is done very slowly. Slowly but steadily, and personally I think the Chinese goverment is doing a good job in the overall as well. No, I'm also not very keen about the Tibet incidents, they should have handled that differently in my opinion too. But still, this doesn't change my opinion in the overall.

Let me explain.. Keep in mind that China has been a undemocratic country for ages. Its also one of the largest countries in the world with the highest population. You can't expect people who have lived their entire lives following certain patterns and expecting certain limitations to be freed one day from the other and expect them to pick up life as usual. And if you don't believe that just take a look at what happened in (former) Eastern Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on. Sure; some of them made it alright pretty well but others resulted in pure chaos. There was a power vacuum, people didn't really know what to do and how to handle it and the results can be seen even today.

I don't think that good would come from it if China would open its borders all of a sudden. Instead I think the goverment is doing a very good job by making sure that the progress is continuing, slowly but steadily. And news reports like these only reaffirm my opinion. Freedom is coming to China, just not right now next week.

Freedom is NOT coming to China (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982376)

The average person in china has no more freedoms now than what they had 40 years ago EXCEPT that they are allowed to trade in the open. The chinese gov. is not opening up. Nor do they have ANY intention of doing so. The whole reason why they adapted capitalism had do with efficiencies. It had nothing to do with freedom. Freedoms will not start until the gov. starts holding itself accountable to the ppl. I have seen minimal accountablility coming from there. Xiaoyu was executed, but only because his actions caused a drop in exports to the west. He was held accountable ONLY because it hurt the underlying trade. But he had been doing a number of actions for a long time and the party was turning a blind eye to it, yet, they knew all about the bribes.

Freedom may come to china, but only if the citizens push it. Sadly, that will mean more 6-4's. But sometimes that is needed.

Re:Freedom is NOT coming to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22983090)

Let me know when true freedom comes to ANYWHERE. There is no such thing as true Freedom so long as immoral and unjust laws like the war on nature (anti-marijuana and other plant laws) exist.

You think China is bad? Try speaking to and for the people, loudly, especially on TV. I'll start my stopwatch. I believe Bill Hicks was murdered in the same way a lot of anti-government pro-people are, especially in Russia, by radiation poisoning, blame cigs all you want but I feel it's bullshit to think that way, Hicks was popular and made people think in a time when people don't want to think they want to drink their fluoride water and aspartame soft drinks while sliding their cock in their xbox and pretending their cock is between Jolie's lips as they kneel before their TV set and explode their semen into a soon to be forgotten tissue.

Re:Freedom is NOT coming to China (3, Insightful)

electronixtar (1042742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983242)

You don't know shit about what's like in China 40 years ago.

BTW (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982436)

china is still playing all sorts of games. A quick example is CNSA claims that they are spending little money on their efforts. Yet, what is quietly missing in their reports is how many are currently employed in the space program. From quiet reports, USA is finding that they employee more ppl than NASA did in the late 60's (their pinnacle), and certainly more than RSA has. IOW, they try to downplay their space capabilities while at the same time, they are growing it. Fast.

Add on that, their military capability. It is very obvious that it is growing MUCH faster than china gov. claims. How much remains to be seen. The real problem is that China keeps their real funds secrets. If they reported how much in/out on taxes, as well as how much per department, then it would be easy to verify this. But that is kept secret (though they do report what some of the depts. use, but now way to balance or test this).

Based on your posting, I am guessing that you are married to a chinese, or are from china, but their actions speak louder than words. Look at W. Would you trust him? Hell no. Anybody that would trust him, cheney, or rove could only be an absolute idiot. But the same is true of Chinese Gov. They play more games with contracts and wording than even W. does. But what does that have to do with the chinese ppl? Absolutely nothing. These are seperate groups; ppl vs. their gov. And the reason is that their gov is foisted on them. Here in America, we the citizens are responsible for our gov, so sadly, they somewhat mirror us.

Is this a new development? (1)

dawsongage (1263276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982504)

I know that the "Great Firewall" is not consistent among different places/times in China, but I can say from personal experience that English Wikipedia was accessible in China (Shanghai, Hangzhou, Jiangshan (Zhejiang Province)) during July and August 2007. This was true both on my own computer and on those in net cafes. The only article that was blocked was the Tiannanmen Square Massacre. Articles on Tibet, Internet Censorship in the People's Republic of China, and even the Mainland Wikipedia Blockade were available throughout. Does anyone else have experience to compare this with?

In soviet China... (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982584)

...wikipedia accesses you.

I thank you for dyour time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982616)

Olympic wristed threats (3, Insightful)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983068)

"inspectors told Beijing organisers that the Internet must be open for the duration of the 2008 Olympics and that blocking it "would reflect very poorly" on the host country"

Good to know the Olympic committee is all for standing up for human rights provided they're in town, and they're being paid lots of money, and those human rights only apply to people who are used to such freedoms in the first place. But seriously, if the Olympic committee gave a flying fuck about human rights they wouldn't have chosen China to host the Olympics.

Some feeling as a Chinese (5, Interesting)

electronixtar (1042742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983132)

Well, from a Chinese perspective of view like me, Chinese themself sometimes benifit from blocking. So, let's image the U.S. government oneday blocks some enemy website. What methods could you ever think of doing to bypass that? Now in China nearly everyone of experianced Internet users knows at least 3 ways of bypassing GFW, that's a good skill, I think. Yes, my government is not perfect, they are doing insant things, but it makes people to be critical & skillful. On contract, I heard that Germany government & media is lying & blocking the major Chinese website sina.com.cn during the Tibet riot, and some German even Convinced that shit. I guess they have no idea how to bypass a Content-filter system. Hmm, everything has two sides. Wise people always learn from that.

Panchen Lama (1)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983208)

I wonder if people in China will get access to the Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] on the Panchen Lama to get some information about what happened to him, or if this will be among the pages that are still banned [tibet.com] .

I would write down here about the world's youngest political prisoner, who was seized by Chinese thugs as part of an organised attempt to destroy a religion, but I wouldn't want to get Slashdot banned too.

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