VIDEO: Tiananmen at 25: Enduring Influence on U.S.-China Relations and China’s Political Development Congressional Hearing
In 1989 citizens from all walks of life participated in demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square and throughout China calling for political reform, respect for universal freedoms of speech, assembly, and association, and an end to government corruption. The government's violent suppression of the protests in June of that year had far-reaching ramifications for both the development of human rights and rule of law in China and U.S.-China relations. In the years since, Chinese authorities have censored public discussion of Tiananmen and prevented a public accounting of what happened. At the same time, Chinese citizens continue to advocate for human rights, democracy, and an end to corruption. Witnesses at this CECC hearing will revisit the events of 1989 and discuss how the Tiananmen crackdown influenced both China’s societal and political development and U.S.-China relations over the last 25 years.
Source: Voice of America
Baucus Senate confirmation Hearing illuminates need for U.S. to clarify stance toward human rights abuses in China
Senator Baucus (D-MT) appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday for his confirmation hearing as the next U.S. ambassador to China, following the departure of Gary Locke. Perhaps the most interesting exchange of the ninety-minute hearing was with Senator Rubio (R-FL), where Senator Rubio questioned Baucus about Obama Administration policy about U.S. embassies as literal "islands of freedom" in host countries. Baucus was unable to give an explicit answer, instead asking for time to return to the Administration to clarify U.S. policy on the matter. Rubio further elaborated on his question, insisting that the U.S. must remain firm in pushing back against China's "new model of great power relations," whereby the U.S. essentially stays out of China's "internal" affairs regarding human rights abuses. Baucus agreed with Rubio, but maintained that U.S. protestations remain strategic and carefully considered; moreover, Baucus alluded to the fact that ultimately expanded U.S. trade relations and business interactions with China would drive dialogue forward regarding human rights.
Epoch Time's article on the hearing including analysis from Steve Levine
New Tang Dynasty television interview featuring Tiananmen Project Initiative and White House petition effort
Watch the video interview below. For those who haven't signed the White House petition yet,please do so now.
Music was a major element of the Tiananmen protests, and several Chinese songs continue to be controversial due to their association with the movement. Most recently, the Chinese "Father of Rock" Cui Jian refused to play at the annual Chinese Spring Festival Gala after organizers denied him the right to play a song known as the anthem of the Tiananmen protests. Below we have posted the original BBC article, and a video of the song stirring the controversy: "Nothing to my Name."
Chinese singer Cui Jian, one of whose songs became an anthem of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, has pulled out of a major show on state TV.
Last night National Public Radio ran a story on a new documentary, "Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony" by Kerry Candaele. The documentary follows the storied history of Beethoven's symphony, particularly the 'Ode to Joy' and its use as both a call to action and occasionally as a means of oppression. Toward the end of the piece, NPR interviews Feng Congde, one of the main leaders of the Tiananmen protests. Feng Congde jerry-rigged a loudspeaker and blared the 9th symphony over the pronouncements of the People's Liberation Army--an act of defiance and solidarity for the protesters. Listen to the full piece below.
How will you commemorate the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen? Watch this 2009 Vigil held at Washington Memorial
Watch this moving memorialization of victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, held in Washington, DC in 2009. We will be posting videos of previous commemorations from time to time to provide examples of how your institution, club or you personally might commemorate the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen.
Tiananmen Massacre Presentation