Source: Washington Post
By Dan Southerland, Published: May 30
Twenty-five years after the Chinese army fired on unarmed citizens defending pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square, China’s Communist Party seems more determined than ever to silence critics who dare to speak out about the massacre.
This year, the government began striking earlier and harder than before at those attempting to mark the highly sensitive anniversary dates of June 3 and 4 .
One would expect more confidence — and the courage to face up to history — from a leadership that has overseen such rapid economic growth since 1989. Analysts say that the party is nervous about social unrest resulting from the abuse of power by authorities, land and labor disputes and a sense that endemic corruption has benefited high-ranking officials and their children.
But when it comes to Tiananmen, the party may also fear something else: the courage of those who refuse to forget the massacre.
If anything, that courage — displayed not only by dissidents, lawyers, artists, and writers but also by ordinary people who lost sons and daughters in the massacre — has grown even stronger over the past few years.
And the party may fear that its legitimacy will be questioned when it becomes clear it had to rule by armed force in 1989, not only in Beijing but in dozens of other cities throughout China.
Thanks to those who persist in researching these issues, we now know more about how this force was used to crush popular protests in cities far from Beijing.
Tiananmen Massacre Presentation