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Old 06-03-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,124,525 times
Reputation: 4566

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I'm Scared to Discuss Tiananmen, and the Internet Is Partly to Blame
For Chinese, living abroad isn't enough to escape online spooks.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...artly_to_blame

"I am a member of the jiulinghou generation: the roughly 135 million Chinese born in the 1990s. We are web-savvy, dig Western movies and pop music, and are the future leaders of China. And we were born after the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989, when Communist Party troops descended on Beijing's central square to bring order to pro-democracy protesters, killing and injuring hundreds or thousands in the process. It was a pivotal moment in Chinese history. Yet a great many of us in this generation know almost nothing about it -- and those who know don't dare to discuss it.

Growing up in China in the 1990s, I had always thought only three people occupied the firmament of the People's Republic: Mao Zedong, the founding father; Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's economic reforms in the 1980s; and Jiang Zemin, the president at the time. These were the leaders written in my history books, shown or invoked in newspaper articles, and praised on evening television news programs.
I never questioned this narrative until seventh grade, when one of my teachers told our classroom that a few leaders had been "erased" from our recent memory, ousted for sympathizing with student protesters seeking democratic reform. I distinctly recall him saying it all "deteriorated quickly" on June 4, 1989, when military forces entered the square and "at least hundreds of students died."

I felt history shift before my eyes. That night, I went home and asked my parents about it. They shot me a disapproving look and said it had been the result of a "power struggle at the top." I searched on the Internet, which felt less censored than it is now, but I couldn't find quality information about the incident in Chinese, the only language I knew at the time. It was not until I had lived for years in the United States, and become fluent in English, that I finally uncovered more facts through foreign journalists' accounts, U.S. history books, and the memoir of Zhao Ziyang, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party who was placed under house arrest after sympathizing with the protesters.

The key distinction between the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising and other politically sensitive events in modern China is the relative official silence about the former. For example, although the state prevents discussion of the full details of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, a period of massive political turmoil that saw the persecution of intellectuals around the country, the event is nonetheless tested on high school and college entrance exams and depicted in popular books and movies. The 1989 Tiananmen protests, on the other hand, lack an official account or a chapter in our history books -- not even a sugarcoated one for us to dispute. Baidu Baike, China's Wikipedia, doesn't contain an entry for the year 1989, and names and places such as Zhao Ziyang and Tiananmen Square are permanently or seasonally blocked on the Chinese Internet.

The immense interest among those jiulinghou who are in the know has not translated into active discussion, let alone action. Not all of us think it was wrong to use force against the protesters. And we certainly do not all think China should adopt Western-style democracy. But whatever our views are, we dare not openly discuss them online, in public forums, or even in private chats. And since the Internet is where my generation goes to communicate, we are essentially deprived of the chance to engage in civil discourse.

The Internet has chilled an honest reckoning with Tiananmen, not enabled it. While the web has given rise to a level of pluralism China has never seen before, and minted new, grassroots opinion leaders, it has also made everything we write, both in public and in private, more easily surveilled. Before the digital era, officials didn't have the ability to eavesdrop on every conversation. But now, if I post something politically sensitive online, the conversation is digitally recorded. Everything becomes part of our permanent record.

As a privileged jiulinghou who had access to information that many of my peers didn't, I want to accept the responsibility of honoring history for the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. Yet I don't know what I can do. I don't even know where to begin, as it's impossible to estimate how many of my generation know about the incident, let alone how much they know, and how they came to know it.
In recent years many of those who acted as Mao Zedong's Red Guards, or young soldiers during the Cultural Revolution, have openly apologized to the teachers and neighbors they persecuted, sparking national conversations around this once-forbidden topic. I hope that one day, I will get to candidly talk about the Tiananmen protests with other young Chinese, online and off. I'm not eager to argue which side was right on June 4, 1989, but rather to present the historical facts and discuss the best future for our country and our people."

Due to the possibility of Chinese government retaliation for speaking out about Tiananmen, this author has chosen to remain anonymous.

It's a great read.Very honest and first-hand(or you can argue that some Westerners made this up).
Since tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of this pivotal event,I think it's sensible that we open up a topic to discuss it.
Apparently Beijing is very nervous at this moment,25 years ago the world was in absolute shock,then extensive sanction and condemns came along with the OMG.They didn't last long though,since China was such an important market.

Where were you or what were you doing when this happened?I wasn't even born tbh :P

Last edited by Greysholic; 06-03-2014 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,520 posts, read 3,100,674 times
Reputation: 3363
the red dragon is watching you! deny everything!
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,779 posts, read 13,359,093 times
Reputation: 11309
They are most certainly watching me watch this. As a foreigner, I'm somewhat indemnified from such discussions; I know what I know, have my opinions, and still chose to live here. Solong as I'm not going around disseminating information about the topic, I don't have any reason to worry.

This said, over the last few days, google.hk has been alternately down, slower than death, or not functioning properly.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,806 posts, read 3,042,519 times
Reputation: 4790
What is there to say about Tiananmen? The Chinese leadership sincerely hopes all the shiny things brought to you by consumerist capitalism will distract you from the censorship and brainwashing. Just wait, someone from China will come say they don't need freedoms in this thread soon.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:26 PM
 
164 posts, read 220,020 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
I'm Scared to Discuss Tiananmen, and the Internet Is Partly to Blame
For Chinese, living abroad isn't enough to escape online spooks.
I'm Scared to Discuss Tiananmen, and the Internet Is Partly to Blame

"I am a member of the jiulinghou generation: the roughly 135 million Chinese born in the 1990s. We are web-savvy, dig Western movies and pop music, and are the future leaders of China. And we were born after the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989, when Communist Party troops descended on Beijing's central square to bring order to pro-democracy protesters, killing and injuring hundreds or thousands in the process. It was a pivotal moment in Chinese history. Yet a great many of us in this generation know almost nothing about it -- and those who know don't dare to discuss it.

Growing up in China in the 1990s, I had always thought only three people occupied the firmament of the People's Republic: Mao Zedong, the founding father; Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's economic reforms in the 1980s; and Jiang Zemin, the president at the time. These were the leaders written in my history books, shown or invoked in newspaper articles, and praised on evening television news programs.
I never questioned this narrative until seventh grade, when one of my teachers told our classroom that a few leaders had been "erased" from our recent memory, ousted for sympathizing with student protesters seeking democratic reform. I distinctly recall him saying it all "deteriorated quickly" on June 4, 1989, when military forces entered the square and "at least hundreds of students died."

I felt history shift before my eyes. That night, I went home and asked my parents about it. They shot me a disapproving look and said it had been the result of a "power struggle at the top." I searched on the Internet, which felt less censored than it is now, but I couldn't find quality information about the incident in Chinese, the only language I knew at the time. It was not until I had lived for years in the United States, and become fluent in English, that I finally uncovered more facts through foreign journalists' accounts, U.S. history books, and the memoir of Zhao Ziyang, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party who was placed under house arrest after sympathizing with the protesters.

The key distinction between the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising and other politically sensitive events in modern China is the relative official silence about the former. For example, although the state prevents discussion of the full details of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, a period of massive political turmoil that saw the persecution of intellectuals around the country, the event is nonetheless tested on high school and college entrance exams and depicted in popular books and movies. The 1989 Tiananmen protests, on the other hand, lack an official account or a chapter in our history books -- not even a sugarcoated one for us to dispute. Baidu Baike, China's Wikipedia, doesn't contain an entry for the year 1989, and names and places such as Zhao Ziyang and Tiananmen Square are permanently or seasonally blocked on the Chinese Internet.

The immense interest among those jiulinghou who are in the know has not translated into active discussion, let alone action. Not all of us think it was wrong to use force against the protesters. And we certainly do not all think China should adopt Western-style democracy. But whatever our views are, we dare not openly discuss them online, in public forums, or even in private chats. And since the Internet is where my generation goes to communicate, we are essentially deprived of the chance to engage in civil discourse.

The Internet has chilled an honest reckoning with Tiananmen, not enabled it. While the web has given rise to a level of pluralism China has never seen before, and minted new, grassroots opinion leaders, it has also made everything we write, both in public and in private, more easily surveilled. Before the digital era, officials didn't have the ability to eavesdrop on every conversation. But now, if I post something politically sensitive online, the conversation is digitally recorded. Everything becomes part of our permanent record.

As a privileged jiulinghou who had access to information that many of my peers didn't, I want to accept the responsibility of honoring history for the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. Yet I don't know what I can do. I don't even know where to begin, as it's impossible to estimate how many of my generation know about the incident, let alone how much they know, and how they came to know it.
In recent years many of those who acted as Mao Zedong's Red Guards, or young soldiers during the Cultural Revolution, have openly apologized to the teachers and neighbors they persecuted, sparking national conversations around this once-forbidden topic. I hope that one day, I will get to candidly talk about the Tiananmen protests with other young Chinese, online and off. I'm not eager to argue which side was right on June 4, 1989, but rather to present the historical facts and discuss the best future for our country and our people."

Due to the possibility of Chinese government retaliation for speaking out about Tiananmen, this author has chosen to remain anonymous.

It's a great read.Very honest and first-hand(or you can argue that some Westerners made this up).
Since tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of this pivotal event,I think it's sensible that we open up a topic to discuss it.
Apparently Beijing is very nervous at this moment,25 years ago the world was in absolute shock,then extensive sanction and condemns came along with the OMG.They didn't last long though,since China was such an important market.

Where were you or what were you doing when this happened?I wasn't even born tbh :P

You are free to discuss it at Taiwan Province. I do not know Chinese government can restrain you speak anything at Taiwan Province..
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:39 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,607,688 times
Reputation: 2386
Most young Chinese are indifferent even if they know about it.

When I was in college, all my roommates knew it (because we were old enough) but nobody was interested in this topic. Some students from Beijing told some stories with a neutral stance.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:09 PM
 
110 posts, read 106,736 times
Reputation: 25
I have watched the clips about TAM on youtube.
I think the scene was like David fighting Goliath but unfortunately it's "David" who was crushed.
I dunno if this will happen again in the future...in the form of China Spring.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,124,525 times
Reputation: 4566
Quote:
Originally Posted by xhgz View Post
You are free to discuss it at Taiwan Province. I do not know Chinese government can restrain you speak anything at Taiwan Province..
Laugh out loud.


In the most extreme cases,some Chinese do believe that nobody died in June 4th,there are also some that know there were casualties and think what the goverment did was right.Not only the not accepting protestors' requests part,but also the massacre part.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,124,525 times
Reputation: 4566
Oh and have you heard that they blocked the word "today" on June 4th on the internet?
What a bunch of geniuses,the CCP,they would probably block "yesterday" on June 5th and "the day before yesterday" in June 6th,lol.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:11 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,176,735 times
Reputation: 11619
Quote:
Originally Posted by xhgz View Post
You are free to discuss it at Taiwan Province. I do not know Chinese government can restrain you speak anything at Taiwan Province..
Last time I checked, the island's official name is 中華民國
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