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  • The Tiananmen Square massacre, 30 years on - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/08/tian-j08.html

    By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2019 - Thirty years have passed since heavily-armed Chinese troops, backed by tanks, moved through the suburbs of Beijing on the night of June 3–4, 1989, killing hundreds, probably thousands, of unarmed civilians. The military forces overwhelmed makeshift barricades with brute force as they made their way to Tiananmen Square—the site of weeks of mass protests by students and workers.

    Those barbaric events, which demonstrated the willingness of the Stalinist Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime to do anything to stay in power, have gone down in history as the Tiananmen Square massacre. Yet most of deaths during that murderous assault were of workers who courageously tried to halt the progress of troops to central Beijing. Estimates vary, but up to 7,000 were killed and 20,000 wounded.

    Moreover, in the reign of terror that followed throughout China it was the workers who received the harshest penalties, including lengthy jail terms and death sentences. Around 40,000 people were arrested just in June and July, mostly members of Workers Autonomous Federations that had sprung up in the course of the protests.
    Protesters in Tiananmen Square

    What is commonly depicted as the crushing of student protesters was in fact a wave of repression directed overwhelmingly against a mass movement of the working class. What had begun in April as student protests calling for democratic reforms had swelled into the millions as workers joined the demonstrations by mid-May, making their own class demands.

    The Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation was established on April 20 with a handful of workers and rapidly expanded to become a major organising centre by mid-May. On May 17, up to two million people marched through the centre of Beijing, the majority being workers and their families under the banners of their work units or enterprises. Reflecting the impact of events in Beijing, Workers Autonomous Federations were established in a host of major cities, including Changsha, Shaoyang, Xiangtan, Hengyang and Yueyang.

    While moderate student leaders were intent on pressing the CCP bureaucracy for concessions on democratic rights, workers were animated by concerns over deteriorating living standards, soaring inflation and a wave of sackings and closures. The regime’s embrace of the capitalist market since the 1970s had led to widening social inequality and rampant bureaucratic corruption and profiteering. Workers were bitterly hostile to the accumulation of privileges and wealth by the top CCP leaders, such as Deng Xiaoping, Li Peng, Zhao Ziyang, Jiang Zemin, Chen Yun and their family members, and were contemptuous of their claims to be communist and socialist.

    A statement by workers issued on May 25 expressed the rebellious currents in the working class. “Our nation was created by the struggle and labour of we workers and all other mental and manual labourers. We are the rightful masters of this nation. We must be heard in national affairs. We must not allow this small band of degenerate scum of the nation and the working class to usurp our name and suppress the students, murder democracy and trample human rights.” [1]

    Premier Zhao Ziyang had been sympathetic to the demands of student leaders and had counselled making small concessions to calls for basic democratic rights. However, no compromise was possible with the working class, whose unrest threatened the very existence of the regime. As the protest movement rapidly grew in size and confidence, paramount leader Deng Xiaoping removed his ally Zhao as premier, installed hardline Li Peng in his place and ordered the military to violently suppress the protests in Beijing and nationally.
    The crisis of Stalinism

    The resort to such extreme measures was bound up with the profound crisis of Stalinism, not only in China but internationally. In response to deepening economic and social crises, a turn was underway in China, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union toward the dismantling of centralised bureaucratic planning mechanisms, encouragement of private enterprise and establishment of market mechanisms.

    After assuming the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced his keynote policies of perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness and transparency) that laid the framework for greater autonomy for enterprises outside the central planning mechanisms and, under the guise of democratic reform, sought to establish a base of social support for the regime among the petty bourgeoisie.

    Gorbachev’s pro-market restructuring also encouraged the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe in their plans for capitalist restoration, making desperate bids to resolve their mounting economic and political crises. These processes dramatically accelerated as Gorbachev signaled that the Soviet Union would not intervene militarily to prop up its Soviet bloc allies, as it had done in Hungary in 1956 to crush the workers’ uprising and in Czechoslovakia in 1968 to end liberal reforms. In December 1987, he announced the withdrawal of 500,000 Soviet troops from Eastern Europe.

    In a very short period of time, during 1989–90, the Stalinist bureaucracies in one Eastern European country after another moved to restore capitalism, dismantling what remained of nationalised property relations and centralised planning.

    In Poland, talks between the government and opposition Solidarity leaders resulted in a deal in April 1989 to hold limited elections. This paved the way for the installation in August of Solidarity leader Tadeusz Mazowiecki as prime minister. He unleashed sweeping pro-market restructuring.

    Similar negotiations in Hungary, where the processes of pro-market restructuring were already advanced, led to a new constitution in August 1989. Multi-party elections in May 1990 resulted in a government that junked what remained of centralised planning and carried out wholesale privatisation.

    Amid a mounting economic and political crisis, Gorbachev visited Berlin in October 1989 to urge the East German government to accelerate pro-market reforms. Erich Honecker resigned as leader two weeks later. On November 9, the government announced the end of all border restrictions and Berlin citizens tore down the hated Berlin Wall. Before the end of the month, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl unveiled a plan to integrate East Germany with capitalist West Germany—a process that was completed by October 1990.

    The collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Czechoslovakia, Romania and Bulgaria quickly followed. By the end of 1990, governments throughout Eastern Europe were giving full rein to the plunder of state-owned property, an influx of foreign capital and the dismantling of social services, leading to a precipitous deterioration in living standards.

    Gorbachev’s policies in the Soviet Union gave rise to intense pressures within the Stalinist bureaucracy and the emerging layer of entrepreneurs for a far speedier dismantling of all fetters on private ownership and market relations. This found expression in the installation of Boris Yeltsin in July 1991 and the implementation of pro-market “shock therapy.” In December 1991, the Soviet Union was formally dissolved.

    The break-up of the Soviet Union and collapse of the Stalinist states in Eastern Europe led to an orgy of triumphalism in the capitalist media proclaiming the end of socialism. Pundits, politicians and academics, who had foreseen nothing and could explain nothing, exulted over the triumph of the market, even going so far as to pronounce the end of history. In other words, capitalism supposedly represented the highest and final stage of human development. A new period of peace, prosperity and democracy would dawn, they all declared.

    The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), based on the analysis made by Leon Trotsky of Stalinism, had rejected the universal adulation of Gorbachev and warned that his policies were rapidly leading to the dismantling of the gains of the first workers’ state. Its perspectives resolution entitled “The World Capitalist Crisis and the Tasks of the Fourth International,” published in August 1988, made clear that the breakdown of the Soviet Union was not a product of socialism, but rather of Stalinism and its reactionary autarchic conception of “socialism in one country”:

    The very real crisis of the Soviet economy is rooted in its enforced isolation from the resources of the world market and the international division of labour. There are only two ways this crisis can be tackled. The way proposed by Gorbachev involves the dismantling of state industry, the renunciation of the planning principle, and the abandonment of the state monopoly on foreign trade, i.e., the reintegration of the Soviet Union into the structure of world capitalism. The alternative to this reactionary solution requires the smashing of imperialism’s domination over the world economy by linking up the Soviet and international working class in a revolutionary offensive aimed at extending the planned economy into the European, North American and Asian citadels of capitalism. [2]

    In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the ICFI identified the root cause of the crisis of Stalinism in the processes of the globalisation of production that had been underway since the late 1970s, which had undermined all programs based on national economic regulation. While the crisis of Stalinism was the most immediate and acute expression, these same processes lay behind the international embrace of pro-market restructuring by Social Democratic and Labour parties, and trade unions, and their abandonment of any defence of the social rights of the working class.
    Capitalist restoration in China

    The events in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had a profound impact in China, where processes of capitalist restoration had been underway since the 1970s. The CCP’s decision in June 1989 to use the military to brutally suppress the working class was in no small measure conditioned by its longstanding fear of a repetition in China of the mass strike movement in Poland in 1980–81 that led to the formation of the Solidarity trade union.

    China specialist Maurice Meisner explained that the involvement of masses of workers in the protests in Tiananmen Square on May 17 “did much to rekindle the ‘Polish fear’ among Party leaders, their decade-old obsession about the rise of a Solidarity-type alliance between workers and intellectuals in opposition to the Communist state. And that fear, in turn, contributed to their fateful decision to impose martial law.” [3]

    While Deng Xiaoping recognised the affinity of Gorbachev’s perestroika with the policies that he had already enacted, he did not embrace the political liberalisation of glasnost, fearing it would undermine the foundations of the CCP regime. When Gorbachev visited Beijing in mid-May 1989 to cement closer Sino-Soviet ties, the Chinese leadership kept him closeted from public view, anxious that his presence would give further impetus to the protests in Tiananmen Square. The rapid collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe only heightened the determination of the CCP bureaucracy to suppress any opposition.

    The roots of the crisis in China lay in the outcome of the 1949 Chinese revolution. The monumental events that brought the Chinese Communist Party to power ended more than a century of imperialist oppression that had mired the country of more than 500 million in squalor and backwardness. It expressed the aspirations of the vast majority of the population for economic security, basic democratic and social rights, and a decent standard of living. Decades of political upheaval and a war against Japanese imperialism from 1937 to 1945 had ravaged the country and left an estimated 14 million Chinese soldiers and civilians dead.

    Like the Soviet bureaucracy, however, the new CCP apparatus was based on the reactionary nationalist program of “socialism in one country,” which was a repudiation of socialist internationalism and Leon Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution which underpinned the October Revolution in Russia in 1917.

    As a result, the course of the revolution and the subsequent evolution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) proclaimed by Mao Zedong in 1949 was distorted and deformed by Stalinism, which dominated the CCP in the wake of Stalin’s betrayal of the Second Chinese Revolution of 1925–27. Stalin subordinated the very young CCP to the bourgeois nationalist Kuomintang, resulting in crushing blows to the Chinese Communists and working class in April 1927, and again in May 1927. CCP leaders and members who supported Trotsky’s analysis of the tragedy were expelled.

    In the wake of the 1949 Chinese Revolution, the pragmatic, nationalist ideology of Maoism led China rapidly into a blind alley. Mao’s perspective of a “New Democracy” sought to maintain a bloc with the national bourgeoisie, but the CCP government was driven, under conditions of the Korean War and the internal sabotage by bourgeois and petty bourgeois elements, to go further than intended. By 1956, virtually every aspect of the economy was nationalised and subject to bureaucratic planning along the lines of the Soviet Union, but the working class had no say through its own democratic organs.

    The organic hostility of the Maoist regime to the working class was expressed in its repression of Chinese Trotskyists, all of whom were jailed in 1952 amid the rising resistance by workers. As with the Eastern European states, the Fourth International characterised China as a deformed workers’ state, a highly conditional formula that placed the emphasis on the deformed, bureaucratic character of the regime.

    The national autarky of “socialism in one country” generated worsening economic and social turmoil, and crises for which the CCP bureaucracy had no solution, leading to bitter internal factional warfare. Mao’s fanciful scheme for a peasant socialist society, which underpinned his “Great Leap Forward,” ended in economic catastrophe and mass starvation. His factional opponents, led by Liu Shaoqi, followed the Soviet model of bureaucratic planning with its emphasis on heavy industry, but this provided no alternative.

    The economic crisis was greatly worsened by the 1961–63 split with the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of Soviet aid and advisers, as the two Stalinist regimes advanced their conflicting national interests. In a last desperate bid to oust his rivals, Mao unleashed the Cultural Revolution in 1966, which rapidly span out of his control, leading to confused and convulsive social struggles that threatened the very existence of the regime. Mao turned to the military to suppress workers who had taken literally his edict to “Bombard the Headquarters,” resulting in mass strikes in Shanghai and the formation of an independent Shanghai People’s Commune in 1967.

    Incapable of resolving the immense economic and social problems wracking the country, and facing a military confrontation with the Soviet Union, the CCP bureaucracy forged an anti-Soviet alliance with US imperialism that laid the basis for China’s integration into global capitalism. While Deng Xiaoping is generally credited with initiating market reforms, Mao’s rapprochement with US President Richard Nixon in 1972 was the essential political and diplomatic pre-condition for foreign investment and increased trade with the West.

    The process of “opening and reform” went hand-in-hand with the imposition of strict discipline and emphasis on boosting production in workplaces. Maurice Meissner noted: “Factory managers dismissed during the Cultural Revolution were restored to their former posts, accompanied by calls to strengthen managerial authority, labour discipline, and factory rules and regulations—and to struggle against ‘anarchism’ and ‘ultra-leftism.’ There were dramatic increases in foreign trade and in imports of foreign technology. Veteran party leaders attacked during the Cultural Revolution were ‘rehabilitated’ at an increasingly rapid pace; by 1973, it has been noted, ‘the pre-Cultural Revolution cadres were running the government ministries.” [4]

    From 1969 to 1975, the value of foreign trade increased from $US4 billion to $14 billion per annum. From the end of 1972 until mid-1975, China imported whole industrial plants, valued at $2.8 billion, mainly from Japan and western Europe.

    Deng Xiaoping who had been ostracised during the Cultural Revolution as the “No 2 capitalist roader,” was rehabilitated, appointed a vice premier of the state council under Zhou Enlai. Deng led the Chinese delegation to a special session of the UN in 1974 where he declared that the “socialist bloc” no longer existed and China was part of the Third World. In the factional power struggle that followed Mao’s death in 1976, Deng emerged as the dominant figure in the Stalinist bureaucracy. He embraced US imperialism ever more closely, formalising diplomatic relations in 1979, launching a border war against neighbouring Vietnam, and defending US allies such as the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

    From 1978, Deng greatly accelerated the “reform and opening” pro-market reforms. Four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were established in 1979 in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Xiamen, where foreign entrepreneurs and joint ventures produced goods for export and enjoyed tax breaks and other concessions. A similar system was later implemented in key port cities such as Shanghai. In the countryside, the collectivised communes were dismantled and restrictions removed on the operation of private enterprises. Prices for agricultural produce were lifted. In the cities, moves were made to transform thousands of state-owned enterprises into profit-making corporations. Private enterprises were permitted, the market was increasingly allowed to determine prices for consumer goods, and a “labour market” was initiated, allowing the hiring and firing of workers.

    The pro-market reforms led to the rapid rise of social inequality. Millions of former peasants were left landless and forced to seek employment in the cities. In the SEZs, where the capitalist market was given free rein, corruption and criminal activity was rampant, including smuggling, bribery and the theft of state-owned property. The sons and daughters of the top party leaders took full advantage of their political connections to establish their own business empires. With the lifting of price restrictions, inflation rocketed to 18.5 percent in 1988, to which the regime responded by drastically reducing credit and re-imposing import restrictions. Hundreds of thousands of workers lost their jobs, as private enterprises reduced their workforces or closed down altogether. Unemployment, the loss of job security, as well as skyrocketing prices, combined with disgust at the corruption and enrichment of CCP bureaucrats, fueled the social unrest that erupted in the mass protests by workers the following year.
    Capitalist restoration following Tiananmen Square

    In the aftermath of the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square and the police dragnet throughout the country, the factional battle inside the CCP leadership sharpened in the next three years over Deng’s program of capitalist restoration. In ordering the troops against workers and students, Deng had removed his chief ally in pro-market restructuring, Zhao Ziyang, as premier. Former Shanghai party leader Jiang Zemin was installed as a compromise choice to the top post of CCP secretary general. The initiative shifted to the so-called hardliners—Li Peng and Chen Yun, who, in criticising Zhao, were also criticising Deng’s policies.

    However, in advocating restrictions on market relations, Li and Chen based their policies on the status quo ante and the nationalist perspective of “socialism in country,” which had already proven to be a dead-end. They were looking toward the Soviet Union, even as the deformed workers’ states in Eastern Europe were collapsing and Gorbachev’s policies were undermining centralised planning and nationalised property relations. Their so-called “Soviet faction” represented sections of the Chinese bureaucracy whose power and privileges resided in their control of key sections of state-owned industry and the central apparatus in Beijing.

    At the Fifth Plenum in November 1989, Li delivered the main report, based on the recommendations of a revived State Planning Commission. The adopted plan called for cutting inflation to 10 percent in 1990 and economic growth to 5 percent by maintaining tight controls on credit and balancing the national budget. Rural industries would not be allowed to compete with state-owned enterprises. While keeping the SEZs and “open door” policy in place, the new restrictions hit rural and provincial industries, particularly in the south of the country.

    While Deng no longer held any official party or state position, he still retained considerable political clout, especially in the southern provinces where the new profit-making industries were concentrated. Deng had sided with the hardliners in opposing any political liberalisation and, above all, supported the 1989 military crackdown, but he was adamant that the restrictions on private enterprises and foreign investment had to be completely dismantled.

    The snowballing crisis in the Soviet Union brought matters to a head. An attempted Stalinist putsch in August 1991 to oust Gorbachev and Yeltsin and wind back their program of pro-market restructuring ended in dismal failure. China scholar Michael Marti explained: “This one event changed the thinking about the political equation within the Chinese leadership, including that of Deng Xiaoping. The failure of the Soviet Red Army to support the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in its bid to regain control threw the CCP into a panic. The Chinese leadership feared that a precedent had been established.” [5]

    The factional battle lines were drawn. While the “Soviet faction” began to call into question the entire agenda of pro-market reforms, including the establishment of the SEZs, Deng insisted that the levels of economic growth were too low to maintain employment and social stability. “If the economy cannot be boosted over a long time,” he told a meeting of party elders as far back as late 1989, “it [the government] will lose people’s support at home and will be oppressed and bullied by other nations. The continuation of this situation will lead to the collapse of the Communist Party.” [6]

    Deng was also concerned that the crisis in the Soviet Union, following the collapse of Stalinism in Eastern Europe, would greatly change geo-political relations. Not only had Deng’s strategy sought to balance between the US and the Soviet Union, but his economic policies depended on a large influx of foreign investment, which could potentially shift to exploiting new opportunities opening up in the former Soviet republics.

    Along with provincial leaders in the southern provinces, Deng counted on the support of People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The generals had been shocked by the way in which US imperialism and its allies had deployed hi-tech weaponry in the 1990–91 Gulf War to rapidly destroy the Iraqi military. Their conclusion was that China had to invest heavily in modernising the PLA and only Deng’s policies could transform the economy and produce the growth needed to supply that investment.

    Deng set out on his “Southern tour” in January–February 1992, just 20 days after the formal liquidation of the Soviet Union in December 1991, accompanied by top generals, the state security chief Qiao Shi and party elder Bo Yibo. As he visited the SEZs and southern cities, he declared that there would be no reversal of economic policies in the face of the Soviet collapse. Dismissing concerns about growing social inequality, he is said to have declared: “Let some people get rich first.”

    In a showdown with Chen Yun in Shanghai, Deng reportedly shouted: “Any leader who cannot boost the economy should leave office.” Openly backing capitalist restoration, he declared: “We should absorb more foreign capital and more foreign-advanced experiences and technologies, and set up more foreign-invested enterprises. Do not fear when others say we are practicing capitalism. Capitalism in nothing fearsome.” [7]

    Deng prevailed, opening the door for wholesale capitalist restoration that transformed the whole country into a giant free trade zone for the exploitation of cheap Chinese labour. The crocodile tears shed by Western politicians over the Tiananmen Square massacre were rapidly cast aside as foreign investors recognised that the police-state regime in Beijing was willing to use any method, no matter how brutal, to discipline the working class. In 1993, the CCP proclaimed that its objective was a “socialist market economy,” giving a threadbare “socialist” disguise to its embrace of capitalism.

    In 1994, the CCP formally established a “labour market,” by legitimising the sale and purchase of labour power. State-owned enterprises were corporatised into companies run for profit. The unprofitable ones were restructured or shut down. The better equipped, in sectors not designated as strategic, were sold off or converted into subsidiaries of foreign transnationals. A small number were preserved as state-owned “national flagships.”

    Between 1996 and 2005, the number of employees in state- and collective-owned enterprises halved, from 144 million to 73 million workers. Along with guaranteed life-time employment, the “iron rice bowl” of cradle-to-grave services was also dismantled. Essential services that had previously been provided by state-owned enterprises—childcare, education, health care and pensions—were now left to individual workers.
    Chinese capitalism today

    The restoration of capitalism in China over the past 30 years has only exacerbated the underlying social tensions within Chinese society and compounded the political and geo-political dilemmas confronting the CCP apparatus.

    The extraordinary economic expansion of China to become the world’s second largest economy has rested, in the first place, on the immense gains of the 1949 Revolution that unified China for the first time in decades, created an educated and skilled workforce, and developed basic industries and essential infrastructure. The flood of foreign investment into the country transformed China into the sweatshop of the world and produced a massive 11-fold increase in the economy between 1992 and 2010. This rapid growth, however, did not reflect an inherent strength of the Chinese economy, but rather its role in the world economy, dependent on foreign investment and technology.

    The imperialist powers, above all the United States, were more than willing to exploit cheap Chinese labour as long as China’s economic expansion did not challenge their own established geo-political interests. However, the vast quantity of raw materials and energy that Chinese industries require from around the world have increasingly brought it into conflict with the US and other major powers, in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and internationally. Moreover, as China has sought to create its own hi-tech “national champions” such as Huawei and ZTE, the US, under the Trump administration, has declared economic war on Beijing, not just in matters of trade. It has openly opposed Chinese plans to develop and expand hi-tech industries and to more closely link Eurasia to China through massive infrastructure projects under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

    The delusion promoted by CCP leaders that China could, through a “peaceful rise,” become a world power on a parity with the US has been shattered. China’s expansion has brought it into conflict with the global imperialist order dominated by the United States. Under Obama and now Trump, the US has begun using all means at its disposal to ensure its continued global hegemony. Trump’s economic war goes hand-in-hand with a military build-up in the Indo-Pacific, escalating naval provocations in the South China Sea, under the guise of “freedom of navigation operations, and more open preparations for a war between the two nuclear-armed powers.

    The CCP leadership has no answer to the mounting danger of war, other than desperately seeking an accommodation with imperialism, while engaging in a frenetic arms race that can only end in catastrophe for the working class in China and internationally. Capitalist restoration, far from strengthening China’s capacity to counter the US, has greatly weakened it. The regime is organically incapable of making any appeal to the international working class, as that would inevitably lead to social struggles by the working class at home.

    Having abandoned even its previous nominal commitment to socialism and internationalism, the CCP has increasing relied on whipping up Chinese nationalism to try to create a social base in layers of the middle class. There is nothing progressive about Chinese chauvinism and patriotism, which divides Chinese workers from their class brothers and sisters internationally, and within China from non-Han Chinese minorities. Its repressive measures against Uighurs, Tibetans and other ethnic groups have provided an opening that the US is seeking to exploit. Under the bogus banner of “human rights,” Washington is promoting separatist groups as part of its ambition to fracture and subordinate China to its interests.

    Thirty years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, the CCP leadership is terrified of a renewal of working-class opposition, the first stirrings of which have been seen in the more numerous reports of workers’ strikes and protests, and, significantly over the past year, in a turn by a layer of university students to assist workers in their struggles. Since 1989, the working class in China has vastly expanded to an estimated 400 million and as a proportion of the population. One indicator is the growth of the country’s urban population from just 26.4 percent of the total in 1990, to 58.5 percent in 2017.

    The CCP leadership boasts of having lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, using the UN’s very austere measures of poverty. Such benchmarks ignore the many factors that are fueling discontent among workers, including the common practice of late or unpaid wages, unhealthy and dangerous factory conditions, harsh corporate disciplinary practices, and the lack of basic social rights for tens of millions of internal migrants in the cities. All of these oppressive conditions are monitored and policed by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which functions as an arm of the CCP bureaucracy in workplaces.

    Capitalist restoration has produced a dramatic rise in social inequality: from one of the most equal societies in the world, China has become one of the most unequal countries. It is home to more dollar billionaires than any other country except the United States. While Chinese workers struggle to survive on the minimum wage of $370 a month, the wealthiest individual, Tencent chairman Pony Ma, has a personal fortune of almost $40 billion. These super-rich oligarchs, who in many cases have built their fortunes through naked corruption and the looting of state-owned property, are represented in the Chinese Communist Party and sit on powerful advisory bodies.

    The gulf between the super-rich and the vast majority of the workers and the poor is generating huge social tensions that, sooner rather than later, will explode on a scale that will eclipse the rebellion by workers and students 30 years ago. The lesson drawn by the Stalinist leadership from the 1989 events was that it had to suppress, through all available means, any expression of opposition that could become the focus of a broader movement against the regime. Incapable of meeting the pressing social needs of the majority of the population, the CCP has vastly expanded its police-state apparatus, now spending more each year on its internal security forces than it does on external defence.

    The working class must also draw the necessary political lessons from the defeat of that movement in 1989, which was rapidly assuming revolutionary dimensions. What was lacking was not determination, audacity and courage, nor numbers, which were rapidly swelling across China, but the essential problem facing the international working class in the 20th century—the absence of revolutionary leadership.

    James Cogan summed up the issue in his analysis “Ten years since the Tiananmen Square massacre,” stating:

    Inexperienced politically and lacking a political perspective outside of opposition to the existing regime, the workers’ leaders advanced no alternative to, and deferred to, the student bodies. The workers of China knew in their life experience what they were against—Stalinism and capitalism—but they were not able to articulate any perspective for an alternative social order.

    Decades of domination by Stalinism and the active suppression of genuine Marxism in China meant there was no revolutionary socialist, that is, Trotskyist, tendency in the working class. No organisation within the country could spontaneously advance the program that was implicit in the actions and sentiments of the Chinese working class—a political revolution to overthrow the Stalinist regime and introduce major reforms into the economy for the benefit of the working class. [8]

    The essential political task of building a Trotskyist leadership in the Chinese working class as a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International remains. None of the oppositional tendencies that emerged out of the 1989 protests offer a viable political perspective for the working class. Advocates of independent trade unions such as Han Dongfang, who was prominent in the Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation in 1989, have underscored the political bankruptcy of syndicalism by lurching to the right and into the arms of US trade union apparatus, in other words of US imperialism.

    A layer of youth, intellectuals and workers have turned to Maoism, and its banal “revolutionary” slogans, for answers. Capitalist restoration in China, however, was not a break from Maoism. It flowed organically out of the dead-end of “socialism in one country.” Maoism could aptly be termed Stalinism with Chinese characteristics, with its hostility to the working class, its emphasis on subjective will, and above all its putrid nationalism. It is diametrically opposed to genuine Marxism, that is the perspective of socialist internationalism, which alone was upheld by the Trotskyist movement, including the Chinese Trotskyists.

    The establishment of a genuinely revolutionary party in China, as part of the ICFI, requires the assimilation of the essential strategic experiences of the international working class, of which the Chinese revolutions of the 20th century are a critical component. The CCP leaders are petrified that workers and youth will begin to work over the lessons of history. They attempt to censor and black out any knowledge and discussion of the events of 1989, and continue to perpetrate the lies of Stalinism about the course of the 20th century.

    The crucial political lessons of the protracted struggle of Trotskyism against Stalinism are embedded in the program, perspective and documents of the International Committee of the Fourth International. Workers and youth should make a serious study of the political issues involved, beginning with the documents of the ICFI on the Tiananmen Square massacre, republished this week on the World Socialist Web Site. We urge you to contact the International Committee of the Fourth International, which is the first step toward forging a Trotskyist leadership in the Chinese working class.

    Footnotes:

    [1] Cited in “Workers in the Tiananmen protests: The politics of the Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation,” by Andrew G. Walder and Gong Xiaoxia, first published in the Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, No 29, January 1993.

    [2] The World Capitalist Crisis and the Tasks of the Fourth International: Perspectives Resolution of the International Committee of the Fourth International, August 1988, Labor Publications, pp.30–31.

    [3] Maurice Meisner, Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, The Free Press, Third edition, 1999, p.508.

    [4] ibid, p.389.

    [5] Michael Marti, China and the Legacy of Deng Xiaoping: From Communist Revolution to Capitalist Evolution, Brassey’s Inc, 2002, pp.47–48.

    [6] Cited in John Chan, “Twenty years since Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Southern tour’—Part 1”, 26 November 2012.

    [7] Cited in John Chan, “Twenty years since Deng Xiaoping’s ‘Southern tour’—Part 2”, 27 November 2012.

    [8] James Cogan, “Ten years since the Tiananmen Square massacre: Political lessons for the working class,” 4 June 1999.

    #Chine #4689

  • MoA - Tian An Men Square - What Really Happened (Updated)
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/tiananmen-square-do-the-media-say-what-really-happened.html

    June 04, 2019
    Tian An Men Square - What Really Happened (Updated)

    Since 1989 the western media write anniversary pieces on the June 4 removal of protesters from the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The view seems always quite one sided and stereotyped with a brutal military that suppresses peaceful protests.

    That is not the full picture. Thanks to Wikileaks we have a few situation reports from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing at that time. They describe a different scene than the one western media paint to this day.

    Ten thousands of people, mostly students, occupied the square for six weeks. They protested over the political and personal consequences of Mao’s chaotic Cultural Revolution which had upset the whole country. The liberalization and changeover to a more capitalist model under Deng Xiopings had yet to show its success and was fought by the hardliners in the Communist Party.

    The more liberal side of the government negotiated with the protesters but no agreement was found. The hardliners in the party pressed for the protest removal. When the government finally tried to move the protesters out of the very prominent square they resisted.

    On June 3 the government moved troops towards the city center of Beijing. But the military convoys were held up. Some came under attack. The U.S. embassy reported that soldiers were taken as hostages:

    TENSION MOUNTED THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AS BEIJING RESIDENTS VENTED THEIR ANGER BY HARASSING MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONNEL AND ATTACKING THEIR VEHICLES. STUDENTS DISPLAYED CAPTURED WEAPONS, MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES, INCLUDING IN FRONT OF THE ZHONGNANHAI LEADERSHIP COMPOUND. AN EFFORT TO FREE STILL CAPTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL OR TO CLEAR THE SOUTHERN ENTRANCE TO ZHONGNANHAI MAY HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF A LIMITED TEAR GAS ATTACK IN THAT AREA AROUND 1500 HOURS LOCAL.

    There are some gruesome pictures of the government side casualties of these events.

    Another cable from June 3 notes:

    THE TROOPS HAVE OBVIOUSLY NOT YET BEEN GIVEN ORDERS PERMITTING THEM TO USE FORCE. THEIR LARGE NUMBERS, THE FACT THAT THEY ARE HELMETED, AND THE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS THEY ARE CARRYING SUGGEST THAT THE FORCE OPTION IS REAL.

    In the early morning of June 4 the military finally reached the city center and tried to push the crowd out of Tiananmen Square:

    STUDENTS SET DEBRIS THROWN ATOP AT LEAST ONE ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER AND LIT THE DEBRIS, ACCORDING TO EMBOFF NEAR THE SCENE. ABC REPORTED THAT ONE OTHER ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER IS AFLAME. AT LEAST ONE BUS WAS ALSO BURNING, ACCORDING TO ABC NEWS REPORTERS ON THE SQUARE AT 0120. THE EYEWITNESSES REPORTED THAT TROOPS AND RIOT POLICE WERE ON THE SOUTHERN END OF THE SQUARE AND TROOPS WERE MOVING TO THE SQUARE FROM THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE CITY.

    The soldiers responded as all soldiers do when they see that their comrades get barbecued:

    THERE HAS REPORTEDLY BEEN INDISCRIMINATE GUNFIRE BY THE TROOPS ON THE SQUARE. WE CAN HEAR GUNFIRE FROM THE EMBASSY AND JIANGUOMENWAI DIPLOMATIC COMPOUND. EYEWITNESSES REPORT TEAR GAS ON THE SQUARE, FLARES BEING FIRED ABOVE IT, AND TRACERS BEING FIRED OVER IT.

    Most of the violence was not in the square, which was already quite empty at that time, but in the streets around it. The soldiers tried to push the crowd away without using their weapons:

    THE SITUATION IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY IS VERY CONFUSED. POLOFFS AT THE BEIJING HOTEL REPORTED THAT TROOPS ARE PUSHING A LARGE CROWD OF DEMONSTRATORS EAST ON CHANGANJIE. ALTHOUGH THESE TROOPS APPEAR NOT TO BE FIRING ON THE CROWD, POLOFFS REPORT FIRING BEHIND THE TROOPS COMING FROM THE SQUARE.

    With the Square finally cleared the student protest movement ebbed away.

    Update (June 5)

    Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, was there on the ground. He just published his eyewitness account written down at that time.

    Western secret services smuggled some 800 of the leaders of their failed ’color revolution’ out of the country, reported the Financial Times:

    Many went first to France, but most travelled on to the US for scholarships at Ivy League universities.

    The extraction missions, aided by MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA, according to many accounts, had scrambler devices, infrared signallers, night-vision goggles and weapons.

    bigger

    /End of Update

    It is unclear how many people died during the incident. The numbers vary between dozens to several hundred. There is no evidence that the higher numbers are correct. It also not known how many of the casualties were soldiers, or how many were violent protesters or innocent bystanders.

    The New York Times uses the 30th anniversary of the June 4 incidents to again promote a scene that is interpreted as successful civil resistance.

    bigger

    He has become a global symbol of freedom and defiance, immortalized in photos, television shows, posters and T-shirts.

    But three decades after the Chinese Army crushed demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square, “Tank Man” — the person who boldly confronted a convoy of tanks barreling down a Beijing avenue — is as much a mystery as ever.

    But was the man really some hero? It is not known what the the man really wanted or if he was even part of the protests:

    According to the man who took the photo, AP photographer Jeff Widener, the photo dates from June 5 the day after the Tiananmen Square incident. The tanks were headed away from, and not towards, the Square. They were blocked not by a student but by a man with a shopping bag crossing the street who had chosen to play chicken with the departing tanks. The lead tank had gone out its way to avoid causing him injury.

    The longer video of the tank hold up (turn off the ghastly music) shows that the man talked with the tank commander who makes no attempt to force him away. The scene ends after two minutes when some civilian passersby finally tell the man to move along. The NYT also writes:

    But more recently, the government has worked to eliminate the memory of Tank Man, censoring images of him online and punishing those who have evoked him.
    ...
    As a result of the government’s campaign, many people in China, especially younger Chinese, do not recognize his image.

    To which Carl Zha, who currently travels in China and speaks the language, responds:

    Carl Zha @CarlZha - 15:23 utc - 4 Jun 2019

    For the record, Everyone in China know about what happened on June 4th, 1989. Chinese gov remind them every year by cranking up censorship to 11 around anniversary. Idk Western reporters who claim people in China don’t know are just esp stupid/clueless or deliberately misleading

    In fact that applies to China reporting in general. I just don’t know whether Western China reporters are that stupid/clueless or deliberately misleading. I used to think people can’t be that stupid but I am constantly surprised...

    and

    Carl Zha @CarlZha - 15:42 utc - 4 Jun 2019

    This Image was shared in one of the Wechat group I was in today. Yes, everyone understood the reference

    bigger

    Carl recommends the two part movie The Gate To Heavenly Peace (vid) as the best documentary of the Tiananmen Square protests. It explores the political and social background of the incident and includes many original voices and scenes.

    Posted by b on June 4, 2019 at 03:00 PM

    #Chine #4689

  • June 4 immunized China against turmoil - Global Times
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190603132822/http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1152903.shtml

    Cet article n’est plus disponible (404) sous son URL d’origine http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1152903.shtml depuis le 5.6.2019 19:39. Il est donc resté en ligne pendant 2 jours et 10 heures.

    Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/3 13:09:54

    June 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have determined the nature of the incident. Chinese society has also made a comprehensive summary of it. Dropping the incident thereafter has been aimed at helping the country leave the shadow behind, avoid disputes, and help all Chinese people face the future.

    We consider such practice a political success, although some people have criticized it from the perspective of news governance. Merely afflicting China once, the incident has not become a long-term nightmare for the country. Neither has the incident’s anniversary ever been placed in the teeth of the storm. It has become a faded historical event, rather than an actual entanglement.

    The Chinese government’s control of the incident in 1989 has been a watershed marking the differences between China and former Eastern European socialist countries, including the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Since the incident, China has successfully become the world’s second largest economy, with rapid improvement of people’s living standards. The policy of avoiding arguing has served as a contributor to the country’s economic take-off.

    Today’s China obviously has no political conditions to suddenly reproduce the riot of 30 years ago. Chinese society, including its intellectual elite, is now far more mature than it was in 1989. In those years, China’s reform was carried out prior to those of the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. China was completely inexperienced, with an intellectual circle filled with idealism. Chinese society today has seen enough of the political tragedies that occurred in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and some Arab countries.

    Having become politically mature, we now understand the significance of the country’s continuous development through evolutions instead of revolutions. We are also aware of the difficulties and complexity at the practical level.

    As a vaccination for the Chinese society, the Tiananmen incident will greatly increase China’s immunity against any major political turmoil in the future.

    We have noticed that every year around June 4, certain forces outside the Chinese mainland stir up public opinion and attack China. Such forces consist of two groups of people: student leaders and dissidents who fled abroad after 1989, and Western politicians and media outlets.

    The first group’s understanding of the incident remains fixed in 1989. They refuse to correct their understanding of China’s development and the changes that the world has been through. Their interests have been decoupled from the Chinese people and have merged with anti-China forces outside China. Their attitude toward the incident cannot represent those of today’s Chinese public.

    Western politicians’ discussions of the incident are mainly influenced by their countries’ relations with China. Due to the deterioration of China-US ties, US officials have launched fierce attacks against China that have focused on the incident since last year. But Chinese people are clear that those officials are not genuinely concerned about Chinese human rights, but are making use of the incident as a diplomatic tool to challenge China.

    However, all these noises will have no real impact on Chinese society. The actions of the external forces are completely in vain.

    RELATED ARTICLES:

    Speech at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue by Gen. Wei Fenghe, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, PRC

    #Chine #4689

  • How China remakes its cultural imports from the West | Aeon Essays
    https://aeon.co/essays/how-china-remakes-its-cultural-imports-from-the-west

    Re-made in China
    From Marxism to hip hop, China’s appropriations from the West show that globalisation makes the world bumpy, not flat

    The dominant image of China in the West is of a closed, dark place; a country where what reigns supreme is an authoritarianism based on an ancient imperial past that today’s leaders claim to have renounced, while simultaneously extolling China’s 5,000-year history. It’s not a wholly false perception, but the notion of China as a fortress state, impervious to foreign influence, is something of a smokescreen. So too – as the opposite but equally flawed assumption goes – is the perception of China as forever on the brink of being Westernised by the liberalising forces of globalisation and the free market, as if, whenever the fortress gates are opened, the country were barely capable of withstanding the influx of ‘contaminating’ or ‘corrupting’ ideas. This idea of China received a powerful boost from Francis Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ fantasy that the civilised world would converge around liberal democratic norms, leading many Western observers to believe that China’s economic boom and flirtation with freemarket forces was both inevitable, and would transform it completely.

    In reality, China’s longstanding suspicion of foreign influence has not prevented the government or the people from becoming remarkably adept at marshalling the flow of overseas cultural touchstones into the country’s borders, remoulding them into something that isn’t entirely Chinese, but is also totally different from its original form.

    Western readers will likely appreciate that China is modernising, becoming more tightly entwined with international fashions and lifestyles, while also maintaining its distinctiveness, particularly in political terms. Still, the specific ways that new sorts of personal freedoms and patterns of consumption coexist with continued – indeed, ramped-up – authoritarianism can be baffling. Consider, for example, Kentucky Fried Chicken. With nearly 6,000 branches in China, KFC is by far the most successful foreign fast-food brand. Fried chicken appeals from Chicago to Shanghai, while the friendly elderly patriarch icon resonates with Confucian traditions, hence the proliferation of Chinese-looking Colonel Sanders knock-offs locally.

    But while KFC stays out of politics in the West, in China it recently launched an advertising campaign to celebrate 40 years of Deng Xiaoping’s economic reform, using Chinese icons such as the pop singer Lu Han to promote KFC’s appreciation of the government’s economic record. In the inland urban centre of Changsha, where Mao Zedong spent much of his youth, KFC rebranded an entire branch in honour of another homegrown hero, Lei Feng, a Communist martyr. The Lei Feng KFC is flanked by commemorative statues, decorated with his portraits, and plays a looped soundtrack of his Communist poetry.

    Like authoritarian leaders everywhere, China’s are anxious about the population’s interaction with foreign ideas, and the state tries to police this closely, adapting cultural imports to fit national and regional needs. Still, the various ways that the government, villagers and city dwellers of different social classes and generations handle these mutations demonstrate that Chinese concepts of national identity are much more flexible than first impressions suggest. Appreciating this is especially important now, as tensions between China and the United States rise. A strident form of Chinese nationalism is gaining ground. Meanwhile, across the Pacific, influential figures in Washington, DC are dusting off Samuel Huntington’s dangerous and misleading notion of a ‘clash of civilisations’, which first gained traction in 1989, after the end of the Cold War, and is predicated on parts of the world being utterly distinctive rather than porous and continually influencing one another.

    This year marks the centenary of the May Fourth movement – an anti-autocratic, anti-imperialist student-led struggle that erupted in Beijing on 4 May 1919 and spread to other cities, just as the European philosophy of Marxism was attracting the interest of young Chinese in thrall to the Bolsheviks’ triumph in Russia. May Fourth activists helped to found the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921, and called for an end to traditional notions of Confucianism, claiming that China should look to foreign ideas – liberal democracy, science, anarchism and anti-imperialist revolution – if the country was to succeed.

    One May Fourth veteran was Mao Zedong. In what later turned out to be a typical example of China turning a foreign idea on its head, from the mid-1920s on, and in the face of Karl Marx’s belief that peasants were reactionary by nature, Mao claimed that the CCP’s best hope lay in unleashing the radical fervour of poor villagers. This partial Sinification during the Party’s rise was followed by a different sort, under Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping. When allowing a greater role for market forces in China, Deng declared an age of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’.

    Today, China’s leadership is bent on making Marxism popular with young people once again. Marx’s 200th birthday saw the propaganda department release a romantic cartoon, with anime elements, celebrating his life as a dashing young man. Meanwhile, real-life student Marxists, who in the past year have staged protests about the rights of factory workers in Shenzhen, have been arrested and disappeared. They are guilty of challenging the ruling party’s orthodoxy, the details of which, though always described as ‘Marxist’, are continually shifting. CCP leaders have, for example, long promoted mass movements and celebrated class struggle, but in recent decades, especially under the order-obsessed Xi Jinping (a self-professed fan of both Marx and Confucius) the orthodox line downplays class struggle and emphasises themes of ‘harmony’ linked to Confucianism – the very ideology that Mao’s cohort sought to banish by embracing Marxism.

    The treatment of this particular imported idea is especially fraught in the anniversary year of the massacre of 4 June 1989. Perhaps the CCP has noted the similarity of the recently detained student Marxists to the activists of 30 years ago and the May Fourth heroes of 1919? A common misconception about the 1989 protestors is that they were just as anti-Communist as their eastern European counterparts who brought down the Berlin Wall. In fact, they sought not to topple the CCP but see it return to its avowed roots.

    The international literature on Mao’s rise to power, and the Communist state he led from 1949 to 1976, offers many examples of the same all-or-nothing understandings of Chinese culture in play. Karl Wittfogel’s essay ‘The Influence of Leninism-Stalinism on China’ (1951) ticks off all the ways that the CCP ‘follows Soviet procedure’ and accepted ‘ideas and directives’ from Moscow; while in The New Emperors: China in the Era of Mao and Deng (1992), the US foreign correspondent Harrison Salisbury presents the first two major leaders of the People’s Republic of China as espousing new ideas while stepping into a distinctively Chinese imperial model with roots in practices going back millennia. Salisbury’s take updated the notion that, when raiders from north of the Great Wall, such as the Manchu founders of the Qing, conquered China, they simply assumed the trappings and rituals of previous Chinese dynasties. In reality, the story of both Qing times and the post-1949 era are much more complicated.

    Recent scholarly work on China’s last dynasty – such as The Manchu Way (2002) by Mark Elliott at Harvard, and works discussed in the essay ‘The New Qing History’ (2004) by Joanna Waley-Cohen at New York University – argues that Manchu influences reshaped politics below the Great Wall. When the Qing’s founders took control from the ethnically Han Chinese Ming Dynasty that preceded them, they brought features of the northeastern frontier culture with them, while integrating themselves into a pre-existing political system. The result was a mixed system of rulership, symbolised, for example, by the Manchu and Chinese languages each having political roles. Similarly, in recent years, ‘capitalism with Chinese characteristics’ has made China a place where Western cultural products get ingested and spat out in mutated forms. Now, as in the Qing era, Chinese culture is more the result of transmuted foreign ideas mixed with local strains than the nationalistic leadership, with its warnings of Western culture’s pulling power, cares to recognise.

    Even so, these days the popularity of Western influences, not least Western festivals in China still generates heated debates online. In a local variant on the sorts of culture wars that Americans have grown used to in recent years, defenders of Confucian ways tend to argue – as did a group of 10 conservative scholars from different universities in a joint letter from 2010 – that celebrating holidays such as Christmas, even in secular ways, threaten ‘Chinese values’, and that ‘traditional rituals’ need to be protected. Urban 20-somethings and older cosmopolitan-minded intellectuals who have spent time abroad counter that young Chinese people celebrating Christmas and Valentine’s Day is nothing to worry about. It is possible, they say, to enjoy Santa Claus – who in China is curiously portrayed playing a saxophone – while also respecting indigenous traditions. These might include honouring familial ancestors on Qingming – a spring day set aside for sweeping graves as a filial act – and celebrating the country’s political milestones, such as the 1 July anniversary of the CCP’s founding.

    What these debaters mistakenly take for granted is that the line between types of holidays is clear: Western festivals in one category, and Chinese ones in the other. The reality is murkier, and more interesting.

    International Women’s Day has been marked across the globe each year on 8 March, and in China since 1922, arriving from a place that is not quite East but also not quite West: Russia. The Soviet Union adopted the holiday (which originated in America) as a celebration of women’s labour rights and, originally, both the CCP and the Nationalist Party celebrated 8 March in China in the Soviet tradition. But when the anti-Communist Chiang Kai-shek became leader of the Nationalist Party, after the death of its more progressive founder Sun Yat-sen in 1925, he reconfigured the group’s handling of the holiday.

    During the Civil War era (1945-49) the Nationalists and the CCP would hold competing 8 March celebrations in cities such as Shanghai. Chiang’s side devoted the day to honouring mujiao (mother’s teaching), a traditional notion of women in the home to raise children to be filial, while the CCP, now under Mao’s leadership, continued to stress themes of equality. Once the PRC was founded in 1949, 8 March was installed as a regular part of the political calendar, and celebrated only in CCP style across the mainland. All this fit in with Mao’s quote that ‘women hold up half the sky’ and his lifelong dislike of Confucian notions of women’s separate and subordinate roles within the family system. Mao’s first published essays included a newspaper series about how badly women fared in traditional family structures, and one of the first legal reforms his government introduced after taking power in 1949 was a New Marriage Law that made husbands and wives equal in matters such as divorce.

    By the late 20th century, things shifted again. The post-Mao CCP began to view Confucian ideals as compatible with, rather than antithetical to, communism, and Women’s Day celebrations underwent another iteration. Decade by decade, 8 March editorials in official publications and state-sponsored rituals put more emphasis on traditional values, and gave less attention to ideas of gender equality, to the point that CCP celebrations now have much more in common with the Nationalist ones of the 1940s than the respective Communist ones. Modern-day feminists have recently attempted to re-inject a radical angle into 8 March, and refocus it on feminist struggle, but their move has been treated as subverting the holiday’s purpose, and the activists involved have sometimes been arrested and accused of Western bourgeois feminist ideas, despite in some ways trying to return the holiday to what it meant in earlier periods of Chinese history.

    The result is that 8 March remains a major calendar date in China, even if Mao would barely recognise how it is celebrated. Women get no credit for holding up half the sky, but they do get half a day off work, and many companies organise special perks such as spa days or afternoon teas for their female staff. Businesses flock to the marketing opportunity: one chain of pizza restaurants in Beijing this year offered women a 50 per cent discount – only on salads. The idea is to put women on an old-fashioned pedestal, and sometimes it is referred to as ‘Goddess Day’, further removing it from its roots in struggles for rights. It should by now be clear that irrespective of whether we look at fast food, ideology, festivals or pop culture, the cultural transmission of something ‘foreign’ into China is a contested and nuanced process. But it is the specificity of the process that needs examining if we are to truly understand globalisation.

    Thomas Friedman’s New York Times columns and bestselling books have probably done more than any other to promote the misleading idea of a culturally flattened-out world. Friedman often refers to the Big Mac as a flat-world symbol – a Big Mac is a Big Mac is a Big Mac, wherever it shows up. But, in China, the growing popularity of McDonald’s tells another story.

    There are now more than 2,000 Golden Arches across China, mainly in the cities and clustered along the prosperous east coast. Many outlets offer localised menu items that would seem bizarre to an average American: burgers made with mantou, a Chinese steamed bread, or deserts made with red-bean paste, a popular Chinese delicacy that many foreigners baulk at. However, McDonald’s in China is protean in other ways. In urban hubs such as Beijing and Shanghai, McDonald’s offers an affordable snack for the white-collar worker: a double cheeseburger costs 23 RMB ($3.33/£2.61). It is not a place to get a whole meal, as it is in the West, nor does it have the same plebeian fast-food connotations.

    In smaller cities, McDonald’s represents a higher level of sophistication than in the capital. Not only is the price point more unrealistic, but the American branding is also more exotic (‘Who eats a whole meal with their hands?’ ask Chinese people moving to the city when they see their first McDonald’s). It is also aspirational, in a climate where imported goods are seen as a luxury, and sometimes an oddity. Ordering up an occasional Filet-o-Fish in a blasé manner can, for young Chinese professionals in Suzhou, be a marker of urbane sophistication, just as ordering a cappuccino once was for office workers in Southampton. In university areas, McDonald’s takes on another meaning altogether: a romantic date spot for young lovers. None of these identities can be ascribed to McDonald’s in the West.

    In a country as large and diverse as China, perhaps it is unsurprising that McDonald’s has a range of meanings. But the judicious and fragmentary Sinification, as determined by the brand executives, compared with the organic, consumer-led mutations across the country, highlights the differing, sometimes competing cultural forces at play in China. Any US brand trying to do business in a country plagued with anxiety about Western ideas has to grapple with this fraught local environment.

    During the nonviolent protests in and around Tiananmen Square in 1989, one way that the government justified using armed troops was to claim that some ‘black hand’ intellectuals (such as the future Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo) had infected impressionable youths with the virus of dangerous Western liberal ideas. It was feared that those students in turn would spread this disease to other social groups, creating the conditions for a ‘counterrevolutionary’ riot that could send the country spiralling into chaos. Today, the CCP acts on this suspicion by trying to control which materials get into the country, sometimes banning things outright, sometimes doctoring whatever does enter to reflect Party values and ‘traditional’ Chinese mores. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) was one of 34 foreign films allowed to be released in China this year, only with all of its LGBT content excised. Last year, The Shape of Water (2017) was photoshopped by the censors, adding a black dress to Sally Hawkins’s nude form to preserve her modesty.

    China is not alone in censoring foreign media in the name of sexual mores; and while liberal Westerners might disapprove of such prudishness, it is at least comprehensible in the Western framework of how art is consumed in different parts of the world. But this understanding does not tell the whole story because, in China, it is not just that Western culture has to be tempered for a domestic audience: it is that cultural imports are re-appropriated from their original meanings by both top-down and bottom-up forces, giving them a new life of their own.

    Consider Peppa Pig. These days, the animated piglet is probably more recognisable in China than in her home country, the UK. For the uninitiated, Peppa’s cartoon exploits have been broadcast as five-minute animations for British pre-schoolers since 2004. In one typical episode, Peppa, her little brother and their pig parents fly a kite in the park: that is the full extent of the plot. In 2015, Peppa arrived in China and was particularly popular among small children trying to learn English. Season Five of her adventures has been viewed more than 14 billion times in China.

    Yet Peppa took on a new life that her British creators and Chinese broadcasters could never have predicted. She became a cult icon among millennials, some of whom sported temporary Peppa tattoos, leading the state-run Global Times newspaper to denounce her as ‘an unexpected cultural icon of shehuiren [slang for ‘gangster’] subculture in China’. No sooner was Peppa co-opted by China’s youth than she disappeared from the videosharing platform Douyin. Merely by dint of attracting the wrong audience, she became a pariah of ‘gangster values’, which would surprise anyone in Britain familiar with the original show. Of course, the crackdown only boosted her fame. Merchandise, often now ironically depicting her as an actual gangster, soared in popularity. Not least, parents still wanted her to teach their children English.

    Unable to stymie the tide of Peppa fandom, the government allowed Alibaba Pictures to co-produce a feature-length Peppa Pig movie, released this year to celebrate the Year of the Pig. The trailer is instructive: it features a rural grandfather who makes a Peppa Pig toy to bring to his grandson in the city at Chinese New Year. It might as well be a trailer for traditional Chinese values, with its filial piety and journeys from the rural to the urban. Shedding her gangster trappings, Peppa has been reborn as an emblem of a Chinese ideal – and of the government’s determination to take charge of cultural flows.

    Nor has China’s anxiety about gangsters abated. In early 2018, censors banned ‘actors with tattoos’ and ‘hip-hop culture’ from being broadcast, referring to it as ‘tasteless, vulgar and obscene’. The hip-hop ban surprised many fans, as the most popular television show of 2017 was The Rap of China, a reality TV contest made by the videostreaming company iQiyi, and viewed 1.3 billion times in its first month alone. Chinese hip hop has long been a thriving subculture, but The Rap of China brought the genre mainstream for the first time, in a manner that veteran rappers decried as sanitised and inauthentic. Meanwhile, the censors prickled at what they saw as the inherently oppositional ethos of rap, and the show’s stars were reprimanded for previous work that celebrated drugs or misogyny.

    Today, Chinese hip hop is one of the country’s most notable cultural exports. The ban seems to have loosened, even if the most famous stars are nowhere near as ubiquitous as they were in 2017. The New Yorker in 2018 profiled Higher Brothers, the most famous Chinese rap band, whose style is indebted to the genre’s Western hip-hop origins, but whose lyrics focus on uniquely Chinese concerns in songs such as WeChat and Made in China.

    Though they might not seem like natural bedfellows, there are similarities between Marxism and hip hop’s roads into China. Both were foreign ideas that garnered a domestic fandom, while also inspiring a local, homegrown movement that turned the concept into something unique. Just as the CCP promotes Marx with one hand and crushes Marxists with the other, on The Rap of China – a show now obliged to be government-friendly to avoid another ban – last year’s winner was the Uyghur rapper Aire, who hails from a region where the CCP is erasing expressions of ethnic identity via a repressive network of extra-judicial internment camps thought to contain more than 1 million inmates. Thus, foreign culture is permitted, but can be broadcast to the masses only within a tightly controlled government framework while, across the country, grassroots Marxists and underground rappers continue to interpret the ideas on their own terms.

    There is no single blueprint for how China will process a Western import. Even products that seem concrete, such as Oscar-winning films, can end up re-purposed by government regulators or the organic forces of fandom. For several decades after China began its period of reform and opening up in the late 1970s, many Westerners felt confident that Chinese identity would be remade by the forces of globalisation and the free market, with Fukuyama and Friedman’s visions complementing statements such as Bill Clinton’s assertion that the CCP’s attempts to control the internet are like trying to ‘nail jello’ to the wall.

    In particular, there was a belief that globalisation would take North American culture global. To a certain extent it has – Western products and entertainments are commonplace in China today. But to fully understand this phenomenon and what it reveals about China, that culture must be closely observed. Just as Chinese immigrant culture in the US has become a synthesis of east meets west, the import of foreign culture into China leads to novelties that are truly multicultural creations.

    The tension between the domestic and the foreign is not abstract, nor confined purely to the cultural realm. During a Q&A session following a recent event at Harvard commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1989 massacres, a Chinese exchange student made clear his feeling that the CCP had been right to stop the struggle in its tracks. In his view, even though the protesters insisted that they were patriots trying to make their country’s leaders live up to their professed ideals, what their movement was actually trying to do was make China just like the US.

    This young man had made a decision to come to the West to study. He had doubtless grown up like many of his peers reading Harry Potter novels and watching US sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory. Yet none of this prevented him from being, as his question revealed, a CCP loyalist and Chinese nationalist. Despite the pancultural character of his own life experiences, he was unwilling to accept that those who took to the streets in 1989 wanted China to be more democratic without becoming just like any other foreign place. For him, the imaginative borders of China’s cultural space should and could be fixed. For him, challenging the ruling party’s orthodoxy was tantamount to looking to convert the country wholesale to the ways of another land. And yet, had he a living elderly grandmother, she would have seen Marxism-Leninism transform from a dangerously exotic import into a strand of Chinese tradition, and witnessed the CCP shift from endorsing rowdy anti-Confucian mass movements to celebrating Confucius as a patron saint of social harmony.

    The Tiananmen protesters of 1989 sang both The Internationale, a socialist anthem they’d learned in school, and also Nothing to My Name by the anti-conformist rocker Cui Jian. They presented petitions to the authorities in a manner reminiscent of traditional appeals to emperors, yet carried banners quoting American slogans (‘We Shall Overcome’, ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!’). They spoke of their struggle as a ‘New May Fourth Movement’ and also as an effort to push Deng Xiaoping to be more like the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev. This mixing and matching, and in the process moving to an uncharted course, was something other Chinese generations had done. It is a testament to the power of the stringent patriotic propaganda introduced post-1989, in hopes of avoiding a repetition of the mass upheaval of that year, that the young Chinese man at Harvard could not think of the Tiananmen protesters this way – despite himself belonging to this long line of mix-and-match generations, and likely having an even more eclectic collection of songs on his smartphone than his 20something predecessors might have had on their cassette tapes.

    –---

    Amy Hawkins

    is a freelance journalist based in Beijing. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Financial Times and Wired, among others.

    Jeffrey Wasserstrom

    is chancellor’s professor in history at the University of California, Irvine. He is a specialist in modern Chinese history with a strong interest in connecting China’s past to its present and placing both into global perspective. His books include Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (1991), Global Shanghai, 1850-2010 (2009), China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (2010), co-authored with Maura Cunningham, and Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo (2016).

    #Chine #4689

  • Juni 1989 : Umsturzversuch in Peking - Rolf Berthold, ehem. Botschafter der DDR in China
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IwrYmxjDDo


    Pensez-en ce que vous voulez, c’est un document qui rend très bien la position d’une partie importante du gouvernement de la RDA en 1989.

    Antikrieg TV - Zahlreiche Berichte widersprechen Behauptungen in Peking seien Tausende von Studenten Opfer von Massenerschiessungen geworden. Die oben verlinkten deutschsprachigen Berichte versuchen nun, die Ereignisse in andere Stadtteile Pekings zu verschieben. Auch dies könnte eine Verwirrungstaktik sein. Fakt scheint zu sein, dass westliche Medien über die Vorfälle auf dem Platz des himmlischen Friedens falsch berichtet haben.

    #Chine #DDR #histoire #4689

  • Missing Link : Vom Tiananmen-Massaker zur Netzzensur und digitalen Massenüberwachung in China | heise online
    https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Missing-Link-Vom-Tiananmen-Massaker-zur-Netzzensur-und-digitalen-Massenueberwa

    Enfin un nouveau hashtag bien chinois : #4689 est un synonyme pour l’intervention militaire sur la place Tian’an Men le 4 juin 1989.

    Von Stefan Krempl

    Der Großteil der Welt gedachte am Dienstag öffentlich dem 30. Jahrestag des blutigen Endes des überwiegend friedvollen Kampfs tausender chinesischer Studenten für mehr Demokratie und Freiheit auf dem Tiananmen-Platz in Peking. Mehrere tausend überwiegend junge Bürger hatten den zentralen Versammlungsort 1989 im Frühjahr zu Glasnost-Zeiten in der befreundeten Sowjetunion einige Wochen lang besetzt und unter anderem gegen die politischen und personellen Folgen der von Mao Zedong losgetretenen Kulturrevolution demonstriert. Die Regierung unter Deng Xiaoping hatte lange darüber gebrütet, wie sie auf die massiven Proteste reagieren sollte. Letztlich setzten sich die Hardliner der Kommunistischen Partei (KP) durch.

    Die angespannte Stimmung kippte Anfang Juni, als das Regime schier aus allen Landesteilen Truppen zusammenzog und mit Panzern ins Zentrum der Hauptstadt lotste. Aus Depeschen der US-Botschaft, die Wikileaks veröffentlicht hat, geht hervor, dass die Menge versuchte, das Militär noch vor dem „Platz des Himmlischen Friedens“ zu stoppen und Fahrzeuge der Streitkräfte sowie der Polizei anzugreifen. Studenten hätten erbeutete Waffen und militärische Ausrüstung zur Schau gestellt, heißt es in den Drahtberichten für Washington. Im Rahmen der Rangeleien sei es in der hitzigen Stimmung am Nachmittag des 3. Juni auch zu einem ersten „begrenzten Angriff mit Tränengas“ gekommen.

    In den frühen Morgenstunden des 4. Juni erreichte der Großteil der herbeigeorderten Soldaten schließlich die Gegend rund um den Platz und machte Anstalten, diesen gewaltsam zu räumen. Den Autoren der Depeschen zufolge, die sich auf Augenzeugen vor Ort berufen, hatten die Studenten Müll und Zeltreste zumindest auf ein gepanzertes Fahrzeug geworfen und in Flammen gesetzt. Mindestens ein Bus habe ebenfalls gebrannt. Truppen und Einsatzkräfte der Polizei sollen vor allem am Tiananmen-Südende positioniert gewesen und zudem von westlicher Seite aus angerückt sein.
    Luftschüsse und Flammenwerfer

    Aus chinesischen Geheimdokumenten geht anderen Berichten nach hervor, Deng Xiaoping selbst habe Order gegeben, dass es auf dem Friedensplatz selbst kein Blutvergießen geben dürfe. Das vorgerückte Truppenkommando soll den verbliebenen rund 3000 Studenten einen Korridor für den Abzug zum Südrand hin eröffnet haben. Ein UPI-Korrespondent wird mit der Angabe zitiert: „Die Soldaten feuerten über unsere Köpfe, um uns Angst zu machen.“ Dies deckt sich mit den US-Botschaftsmeldungen, die von Luftschüssen und Flammenwerfern sprechen.

    Auf den Straßen und Kreuzungen rund um den Tiananmen zeigte die Staatsmacht dann weniger Zurückhaltung und die gewalttätigen Auseinandersetzungen sowie das Blutbad nahm dort seinen Lauf. Die chinesische Regierung erklärte Ende Juni 1989, beim Niederschlagen der „konterrevolutionären Aufstände“ seien 200 Zivilisten und mehrere Dutzend Sicherheitskräfte getötet worden. Menschenrechtsorganisationen schließen nicht aus, dass es insgesamt mehrere tausend Tote gegeben hat. Tausende Demonstranten landeten zudem in Gefängnissen oder Arbeitslagern.

    Der chinesische Verteidigungsminister Wei Fenghe erklärte kurz vor dem Jahrestag auf einer Sicherheitskonferenz in Singapur, es habe sich um politische Unruhen gehandelt, die der Staat habe bezwingen müssen. Wegen dieser Linie „ist China stabil“. Es sei ihm nicht begreiflich, wieso Peking noch immer mit dem Vorwurf konfrontiert werde, „den Vorfall nicht korrekt gehandhabt zu haben“.
    Der „Panzermann“

    Im kollektiven Gedächtnis des Westens sind vor allem Fotos und Videoaufnahmen eines namenlosen Mannes haften geblieben, der sich mit Taschen und Tüten in den Händen am 5. Juni auf einer sonst weitgehend menschenleeren, recht breiten Straße am Rande des Platzes einem Panzerkonvoi entgegenstellte. Als das erste schwere Militärfahrzeug um ihn herumfahren will, springt er diesem immer wieder vor die Haubitze. Schließlich steigt er auf das schwere Gefährt und spricht über eine Luke mit den Insassen. Kaum ist er abgestiegen, geht das Katz-und-Maus-Spiel von vorne los, bis ihn von der Seite kommende Zivilisten unterhaken und in beschützender Manier wegdrängen.

    Das weitere Schicksal des „Panzermanns“ ist ungeklärt. US-Berichten zufolge handelte es sich um einen Studenten, der kurz nach dem Vorfall hingerichtet worden sein soll. Laut anderen Einschätzungen könnte es sich auch um einen empörten Bürger gehandelt haben, der seinen spontanen Auftritt gegenüber der „Volksbefreiungsarmee“ überlebt habe und in der Anonymität der Masse untergetaucht sei. Ein Bild einer „Panzerformation“ aus Gummi-Enten schaffte es voriges Jahr sogar als Erinnerung an das zu vielen Projektionen für den Freiheitskampf einladende Geschehen in die chinesischen sozialen Medien. Es dauerte aber nicht lange, bis es gelöscht war.

    Direkt am 30. Jahrestag des Massakers herrschten laut Agenturberichten am Platz des Himmlischen Friedens „verschärfte Sicherheitsvorkehrungen“. Polizisten kontrollierten demnach Autos auf Zufahrtsstraßen, auf Fußwegen mussten sich Passanten ausweisen: „Ein großes Aufgebot an Sicherheitskräften in Uniform und zivil sollte jedes öffentliche Gedenken sofort im Keim ersticken.“ Bis heute unterbindet es Peking, dass die Ereignisse offen aufgearbeitet und Hinterbliebene der Getöteten entschädigt werden. Nur in der früheren britischen Kronkolonie Hongkong darf der Opfer noch gedacht werden – unter erschwerten Umständen: auch dort kann es vorkommen, dass ein dafür extra eingerichtetes Museum Feuer fängt.
    Die „große Firewall“ und der „Wartungstag“

    Parallel zog die chinesische Regierung schon im Vorfeld des totgeschwiegenen Tages die Daumenschrauben bei der umfassenden Internetzensur noch einmal an. Bereits seit Ende April war die Online-Enzyklopädie Wikipedia in allen Sprachversionen über die „große Firewall“ des Landes gesperrt, nachdem der Bann zuvor „nur“ zahlreiche Artikel auf Chinesisch getroffen hatte. Ohnehin nicht zugänglich sind im Reich der Mitte Dienste wie Facebook, Google nebst YouTube, Twitter, Skype oder WhatsApp, die für viele westliche Nutzer den Alltag im Netz prägen. Nachrichtenportale wie die Seiten der „New York Times“, des „Wall Street Journals“ oder chinakritische Blogs und Informationsquellen bleiben ebenfalls regelmäßig im Filter hängen.

    Neugierige, politisch Interessierte, Aktivisten oder Mitarbeiter westlicher Firmen in China versuchen in der Regel über Anonymisierungsdienste wie Tor oder Virtual Private Networks (VPN) die Sperren zu umgehen und eine Tunnelverbindung ins offene Internet zu knüpfen. Gerade vor wichtigen politischen Ereignissen oder „heiklen“ Gedenktagen gehen die Behörden aber verstärkt gegen solche verschlüsselten Leitungen nach außen vor und stören einschlägige Dienste massiv.

    Rund um den 4. Juni brach bei vielen chinesischen Online-Angeboten zudem wieder der große, oft länger dauernde „Wartungstag“ aus. Dieses wiederkehrende Phänomen besagt, dass nicht nur etwa Livestreaming-Seiten, sondern auch zahlreiche kleinere Webdienste mit nutzergenerierten Inhalten aus „technischen“ Gründen mehr oder weniger freiwillig offline gehen. Die Betreiber wollen damit von vornherein vermeiden, dass Dritte dort Inhalte posten, die den Zorn der Behörden auf sich ziehen könnten. Andere Dienste schränken über Tage hinweg die Möglichkeit ein, etwa Profilbilder oder Statusnachrichten zu ändern.
    Künstliche Intelligenz ist das Skalpell und der Mensch ist die Machete

    Die Zensur der Tiananmen-Proteste erfolgt im Reich des Drachen generell mittlerweile weitgehend automatisiert mit Text- und Bilderkennungstechniken sowie maschinellem Lernen. Suchen nach „Tiananmen“ etwa auf dem chinesischen Twitter-Klon Weibo verweisen so zwar zunächst auf Millionen Beiträge. Klickt man aber darauf, wird „Keine Ergebnisse“ oder auch mal das offizielle Logo des 70. Jahrestags der Gründung des kommunistischen Chinas angezeigt. Ähnlich sieht es aus, wenn sich User vor Ort über Tibet oder Taiwan informieren wollen.

    Selbst Posts, die nur auf Daten, Bilder oder Namen im Zusammenhang mit den Unruhen vor 30 Jahren hinweisen, werden inzwischen größtenteils erkannt und zurückgewiesen. Das Zusammenspiel zwischen Zensoren aus Fleisch und Blut und der Maschine funktioniert dabei angeblich immer besser. „Wir sagen manchmal, Künstliche Intelligenz ist das Skalpell und der Mensch ist die Machete“, zitiert „Reuters“ einen lieber anonym bleibenden Mitarbeiter der Pekinger Firma Bytedance, die auf die Kontrolle von Online-Inhalten spezialisiert ist.

    Schafft es ein Autor, dem Zensursystem ein Schnippchen zu schlagen und einem dem Regime zu nahe tretenden Beitrag doch zunächst online zu veröffentlichen, kann dies drastische Folgen haben. Vor drei Jahren wanderten vier Männer aus Chengdu drei Jahre lang ohne Gerichtsverhandlung ins Gefängnis, weil sie mit einem Foto von einer Weinflasche mit einer an den „4. Juni 1989“ erinnernden Aufschrift posteten. Die Menschenrechtsseite „China Change“ berichtete ferner von einem weiteren Unerschrockenen, der mit einer ähnlichen Aufnahme eine Mahnung mit der Ziffernfolge 8964 online stellte und daraufhin um vier Uhr früh Besuch von der Polizei erhielt mit anschließender Hausdurchsuchung und Verhaftung.
    Wachstum organisierter Netzwerke zu unterbinden ist entscheidend für soziale Stabilität

    Schon 2013 dokumentierte das Forschungsinstitut Citizen Lab der Universität Toronto, dass die schwarze Liste für soziale Medien in China zum 4. Juni sogar Wörter wie „heute“ oder „morgen“ umfasst. Gelöscht wird vor allem auch alles, was als Aufruf zu öffentlichen Versammlungen verstanden werden könnte. Die Regierung und die KP zensierten das Internet nicht nur, um das Informationsmonopol zu behalten, schreibt der CNN-Korrespondent James Griffiths in seinem neuen Buch über „The Great Firewall of China: How to Build and Control an Alternative Version of the Internet“. Vielmehr treibe sie auch die Angst um vor Plattformen mit dem Potenzial, Menschen für gemeinsame Aktionen zusammenzubringen.

    Die Herrschenden täten alles dafür, um das Wachstum großer organisierter Netzwerke zu unterbinden, schreibt der Autor. Dies hielten sie für entscheidend, um die soziale Stabilität und die politische Kontrolle zu behalten: „Daher werden selbst Aufrufe für Umzüge manchmal zensiert, mit denen die Regierungslinie unterstützt werden soll.“ Schmähbeiträge, in denen die Verwaltung wegen schlechter Luftqualität oder Korruption kritisiert wird, blieben dagegen teils länger online.

    Um das Ausmaß der Zensur auf Weibo und der in China ebenfalls überaus populären Universal-App WeChat des Tech-Riesen Tencent weitgehend in Echtzeit zu dokumentieren, betreiben Forscher der Universität Honkong die Transparenzprojekte WeiboScope und WechatScope. Vor wenigen Monaten hat der daran beteiligte Wissenschaftler Fu King-wa ein Archiv mit über 1200 auf Weibo zensierten Bildbeiträgen publiziert, die sich auf die Tiananmen-Unruhen beziehen. Net Alert hat eine ähnliche Datenbank zur breiteren Online-Zensurgeschichte im Reich der Mitte zusammengestellt.
    Twitter sperrt Konten chinakritischer Nutzer in den USA und Deutschland – ein Versehen

    Twitter leistete sich derweil im Vorfeld des Jahrestags eine peinliche Panne. Auch wenn das soziale Netzwerk in China selbst im großen nationalen Intranet nicht verfügbar ist, nutzen Dissidenten die Plattform trotzdem, um darauf per VPN oder direkt aus dem Ausland ihrem Unmut über die Regierungspolitik freien Lauf zu lassen. Doch auch hier schlafen die Zensoren nicht. Wer aus China heraus missliebige Inhalte auf Twitter verbreitet, muss damit rechnen, dass die Aufsichtsbehörden vor der Tür stehen und darauf drängen, Tweets zu löschen oder anderen Kontoinhabern nicht mehr zu folgen.

    Am vorigen Wochenende war Beobachtern wie der China-Change-Gründerin Yaxue Cao nun aufgefallen, dass Hunderte, vor allem regierungskritische Twitter-Nutzer auch aus den USA oder Deutschland mit vielen Followern gesperrt waren. Griffiths verwies darauf, dass die Konten zwar nicht alle gelöscht, aber zumindest „suspendiert“ worden seien. Dies könne darauf hinweisen, dass nicht unbedingt offener Druck aus China hinter der Blockadewelle stecke, sondern eher massenhafte gezielte Beschwerden über die betroffenen Konten.

    Twitter selbst sprach von einem Versehen, das nicht auf umfangreiche Meldungen chinesischer Behörden zurückgehe. Der Betreiber will routinemäßig und aus eigenem Antrieb – freilich zur Unzeit – einige Konten außer Betrieb genommen haben, die aufgrund von Spam-Postings, unauthentischem Verhalten und umgangenen Sperren auffällig geworden seien. Leider seien darunter neben Fake Accounts auch Profile namhafter China-Experten gewesen. Die Fehler würden aber aufgearbeitet. Die Journalistin Sasha Gong gehörte zu den Glücklichen, deren Konto der kalifornische Konzern rasch wieder freischaltete. Sie nutzte die Gelegenheit für einen dringlichen Appell: „Wir müssen den Social-Media-Riesen sagen: Wenn ihr in diesem epischen Kampf um die Freiheit nicht für uns seid, dann seid ihr gegen uns.“
    Apple und Google passen sich an

    Auch Apple zog rund um den 4. Juni erneut Kritik auf sich, da sich auf der Musikplattform des US-Unternehmens mehrere Lieder und Alben von Künstlern aus Hongkong nicht mehr auffinden und streamen ließen. Dazu gehörte laut chinesischen Nutzern der Titelsong des Spielfilms „A Chinese Ghost Story II“, der auf das Tiananmen-Massaker anspielt. Tencent soll entsprechende Inhalte ebenfalls aus seinem Streaming-Dienst entfernt haben.

    Apple hat sich im Interesse seines Milliardenumsatzes vor Ort bereits wiederholt Auflagen der Behörden gebeugt und etwa Hunderte VPN-Apps aus seinem Store verbannt. Zudem verlagerten die Kalifornier iCloud-Inhalte chinesischer Nutzer aus den USA auf Server chinesischer Firmen. Dies räume örtlichen Beamten uneingeschränkten Zugriff auf die sensiblen Daten ein, beklagte Amnesty International diesen Schritt und schalt das so sehr auf Privatsphäre als Verkaufsargument setzende Unternehmen als „Datenschutzverräter“.

    Google liefert sich mit Dragonfly ("Libelle") einen ähnlich heiklen Tanz mit dem Drachen. Ende 2018 hieß es, dass der Internetkonzern seine viel kritisierten Arbeiten für eine Rückkehr auf den chinesischen Markt mit einer zensierten Suchmaschine weitgehend ausgesetzt habe. Bei den Vorbereitungen seien interne Datenschutzprüfer nicht hinreichend eingebunden gewesen, die nun einen integralen Bestandteil eingestampft hätten.

    Im März legte das Online-Magazin „The Intercept“ aber nach, mit einem Verweis auf Beobachtungen von mehreren anonymen Mitarbeitern des Suchmaschinenbetreibers. Diese wollen demnach in internen Werkzeugen nachverfolgt haben, dass an dem Code für das Projekt weiterhin Änderungen vorgenommen würden und dieses somit nach wie vor aktiv sei. Google entwickele nun auf dieser Basis zwei Such-Apps für Android und iOS mit den Namen Maotai und Longfei. Offiziell gibt es dafür bislang keine Bestätigung.
    Pichai und Cook erklären sich

    Konzernmanager aus dem Silicon Valley begründen ihre Kooperationsbemühungen mit dem chinesischen Regime immer damit, den Nutzern vor Ort doch zumindest mit ihren Produkten etwas mehr Spielraum und einen Hauch von mehr Freiheit zu verschaffen. Bei Tests an Dragonfly habe sich herausgestellt, dass über 99 Prozent der Nutzeranfragen beantwortet werden könnten, freute sich etwa Google-Chef Sundar Pichai im Oktober. Damit werde es möglich, die Verfügbarkeit von Informationen für chinesische User in „vielen, vielen Bereichen“ wie etwa zu Krebstherapien zu verbessern.

    Die Initiative liege voll auf der Linie des kalifornischen Unternehmens, den ganzen Globus mit der Basis für mehr Wissen versorgen zu wollen, führte Pichai aus. China mache immerhin 20 Prozent der Weltbevölkerung aus. Beim Markteintritt in jedem Land gehe es aber natürlich darum, verschiedene Wertvorstellungen etwa rund um den Zugang zu Informationen, die Meinungsfreiheit oder den Datenschutz auszubalancieren.

    Ähnlich äußerte sich wiederholt Apple-Chef Tim Cook. Es sei im Interesse chinesischer Nutzer, dass der iPhone-Bauer im chinesischen Markt präsent bleibe, betont er gerne. Die Kalifornier tauschten sich regelmäßig aus mit Regierungen, „auch wenn wir anderer Meinung sind“. Die lokalen Gesetze müsse man letztlich aber überall auf der Welt befolgen. Auch Facebook hat eine Partnerschaft mit einer Firma in der chinesischen Metropole Shenzhen geschlossen, um zumindest für Werbung auf der Plattform ein Standbein vor Ort zu haben.
    Firewall-Experte: China exportiert Zensur

    Die zahlreichen Kompromisse rund um Grundwerte, die westliche Internetfirmen machen müssen für den Markteintritt im Reich der Mitte, sind für den „Firewall-Experten“ Griffiths ein Grund dafür, besser die Finger von solchen Projekten zu lassen. Wer sich einmal darauf einlasse, sei vermutlich auch bereit, immer mehr Zugeständnisse in Richtung Zensur zu machen und lasse sich in einen Teufelskreis drängen, befürchtet der Buchautor. Dass Firmenmitarbeiter, die davon Kenntnis hätten, etwa im Fall Dragonfly lautstark protestierten, sei in diesem Sinne verständlich.

    Mittlerweile ist China offenbar auch dabei, Zensur zu exportieren. Der IT-Sicherheitsexperte Nicholas Weaver und Forscher des kanadischen Citizen Lab stießen bei der Analyse zweier verteilter Angriffe auf eine mächtige Cyberwaffe gestoßen, die sie in Anklang an die „Great Firewall“ "Great Cannon" tauften. Diese soll unter anderem im März 2015 für eine massive DDoS-Attacke auf die Plattform Github verantwortlich gewesen sein und es vor allem auf zwei dort gehostete Antizensurprojekte der Organisation GreatFire.org abgesehen gehabt haben.

    Laut dem Untersuchungsbericht kann über die „große Kanone“ zunächst wie bei einem überdimensionierter Man-in-the-Middle-Angriff selektiv bösartiger JavaScript-Code etwa in Suchanfragen und Anzeigen der chinesischen Google-Alternative Baidu eingefügt werden. So ließen sich enorme Mengen an Datenverkehr zu den Zielen der Kanone umleiten und diese so quasi abschießen. Durch gezielte Anfragen an betroffene Server gelang es den Forscher, das Verhalten des Instruments zu analysieren und Einblicke in dessen Innenleben zu erhalten.

    Nicht alle Beobachter schließen sich der Schlussfolgerung der Forscher an, dass China hinter der Online-Kanone steckt. Einige verweisen auch darauf, dass die NSA sowie ihr britisches Geheimdienstpendant GCHQ Meister in der Entwicklung solcher Angriffswerkzeuge seien und auch die CIA diese einsetze und nicht immer unter voller Kontrolle habe. Eine dieser Organisationen hätte die DDoS-Attacken so auch ausführen, falsche Spuren gelegt und die Schuld auf Peking geschoben haben können. Für Weaver ist das aber wenig stichhaltig, da die Angreifer die Kanone im Github-Fall auch noch lange hätten pulvern lassen, nachdem Gegenmaßnahmen gegriffen hatten. Es habe sich so anscheinend um eine öffentliche Machtdemonstration des chinesischen Staats im Cyberraum gehandelt.
    Informationen und soziale Kontrolle

    Zur Internetzensur ist spätestens nach den Tiananmen-Protesten ein übergreifendes System zur Überwachung der Bevölkerung im Reich des Drachen gekommen. Die Kommunistische Partei sei zwar schon seit Langem bemüht gewesen, die Massen auszuspähen, schreibt die Menschenrechtsorganisation Human Rights Watch (HRW). Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg haben der Staat und die Partei sich demnach auf Werkzeuge zum Informationssammeln und für die soziale Kontrolle verlassen wie die Danwei-Arbeitseinheiten, das Hukou-Melderegister oder die als „Dang’an“ bezeichneten geheimen Polizeidateien. Die Informationstechnik war aber erst um die Jahrtausendwende soweit fortgeschritten, dass sie eine systematisch Überwachung erlaubte.

    Generell erheben Ämter in China eine große Bandbreite an persönlichen Informationen über die Bevölkerung. Diese reichen von politischen Ansichten über das alltägliche Verhalten bis hin zu Informationen über die Geburtenkontrolle bei Frauen. Die Daten werden mit der Ausweisnummer der Betroffenen verknüpft, die als eine eindeutige Personenkennziffer fungiert. Auskunftsrechte für die Bürger über die erhobenen Bestände gibt es keine.

    Im Zuge der seit 1979 erfolgenden vorsichtigen Marktöffnung und parallelen Migrationsbewegungen erwiesen sich die angestammten Praktiken als zunehmend wirkungslos. Die Demokratiebewegung von 1989 im Jahr des hiesigen Mauerfalls ließ bei der KP dann endgültig das Bewusstsein reifen, dass sie die Überwachung einer zunehmend mobilen und aufbegehrenden Bevölkerung erhöhen und ausweiten müsse. Andere Trends wie die Verbreitung des Internets, die Globalisierung, ein an Einkünften aus der boomenden Wirtschaft teilhabender Staat sowie die wachsenden digitalen Fußabdrücke der Nutzer digitaler Techniken ließen das Interesse der Behörden weiter wachsen, umfassende Technologien für die soziale Kontrolle zu entwickeln.
    Projekt „Goldener Schild“

    Das Ministerium für öffentliche Sicherheit gestaltete so Anfang der 2000er-Jahre seine geheimdienstliche Infrastruktur zum Datensammeln um mit dem Ziel, die „Informationsdominanz“ über gesellschaftliche Umtriebe zu erreichen und Kriminalität gezielter zu bekämpfen. Das Ressort startete das Projekt „Goldener Schild“ im Bestreben, ein nationales Netzwerk an „Informationsarterien“ aller Polizeikräfte, integrierten Datenplattformen mit Geheimdiensten sowie Kommandozentren für die künftige Big-Data-Analyse voranzutreiben.

    2003 übernahm das Ministerium das Modell einer von geheimdienstlicher Aufklärung geprägten Polizeiarbeit, das Großbritannien in ähnlicher Form schon in den 1990ern eingeführt hatte. Es basiert auf dem „nahtlosen Informationsaustausch“ zwischen strategischen Entscheidern, operativen Kräften und Einsatzbeamten im Feld und gilt als eine Vorstufe für die noch stärker datengetriebene „vorausschauende Polizeiarbeit“ ("Predictive Policing") mit einer Schwerpunktverlagerung hin schon zur Prävention möglicher Verbrechen.

    2008 gaben die Olympischen Spiele in Peking dem Staat eine weitere Möglichkeit, seine Agenda zur technisch gesteuerten Massenüberwachung auszubauen. Die KP erachtet zunehmend die „Aufrechterhaltung der Stabilität“ als eines ihrer Hauptbestreben und wendet enorme finanzielle und personelle Ressourcen für die Sicherheitsbehörden auf, damit diese insbesondere Dissidenten ausspähen, möglichen Protesten frühzeitig auf die Spur kommen, die Telekommunikation und die Bewegungen der Bürger überwachen und das Internet zensieren können.
    „Pseudo-KI“ und „Gespensterarbeiter“

    Zu eher traditionellen Beschattungsformen gehört dabei ein weitreichendes, schier über das ganze Land gespanntes Netz an elektromischen Augen des großen Bruders. Kameras zur Videoüberwachung sind in China allgegenwärtig, auch wenn unklar ist, wie viele davon funktionieren und wie groß der Anteil des berühmt-berüchtigten „Sicherheitstheaters“ ist.

    Verstärkt setzen der Staat und seine privaten Helfer auch auf Methoden der automatisierten biometrischen Gesichts-, Sprach- oder Gangerkennung. Mehr oder weniger entwickelte Technologien aus dem Bereich Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) sollen helfen, Personen maschinell anhand der Kameraaufnahmen oder ihrer Mobilkommunikation zu identifizieren und anhand von Bewegungsprofilen zu verfolgen. Die richtige Erkennungsquote von Gesichtern soll aber bei unter 20 Prozent liegen, was zu vielen Fehlalarmen führen dürfte. Hunderte menschliche Kontrolleure vor Bildschirmen sollen helfen, diese zu verhindern, sodass auch von „Pseudo-KI“ und „Gespensterarbeitern“ im Hintergrund die Rede ist.

    Vor allem die autonome Region Xinjiang dient Peking als Testfeld auch für den Einsatz von KI zur Massenüberwachung. Dort werde ein „Panoptikum des 21. Jahrhunderts“ geschaffen, um Millionen der dort ansässigen muslimischen Minderheit der Uiguren rund um die Uhr zu beschatten, schreibt etwa der „Economist“. Die Städte in dem Gebiet seien alle 100 bis 200 Meter mit Kameras gespickt, die türkischstämmige Bevölkerungsgruppe müsse staatliche „Spyware“ auf ihren Smartphones installieren, ihre Ausweise würden mit Zusatzangaben wie Fingerabdrücken, Iris-Scans, Blutgruppe, DNA-Informationen oder einem „Zuverlässigkeitsstatus“ verknüpft.

    Bei den muslimischen Uiguren im Nordwesten Chinas habe der Staat ein „beispielloses Überwachungsregime“ aufgebaut, berichtet auch der „Deutschlandfunk“. Dazu gehörten neben unzähligen Kameras bis hin zu Moscheen auch „staatliche Übernachtungsgäste in Familien“ sowie Umerziehungslager. Ex-Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder hat Berichte über letztere dagegen 2018 ins Reich der „Gerüchte“ verwiesen.
    „Racial Profiling“ mit künstlicher Intelligenz

    Aus Xinjiang dringen relativ wenig verlässliche Nachrichten nach außen, da Peking Journalisten oft Visa verwehrt und eine unabhängige Berichterstattung zu verhindern sucht. Human Rights Watch gelang es aber in Kooperation mit anderen Menschenrechtsorganisationen, eine zugespielte, aus 2017 stammende Version einer Behörden-App per Reverse Engineering zu analysieren, die als zentrale Schnittstelle für den dortigen Überwachungsapparat dient. Es handelt sich dabei um ein Werkzeug, mit dem Polizisten und andere Staatsbedienstete mit einer „Integrated Joint Operations Platform“ (IJOP) kommunizieren können. Neben Dateneingaben und -abfragen ist dabei auch der Bezug von Warnungen möglich, wenn sich gehäuft Verdachtsmomente ergeben.

    Mit der App sammeln die Behörden umfangreiche Daten über die Bürger. Diese reichen von Basisinformationen wie Namen oder Ausweisnummer bis hin zu detaillierten Spezialangaben wie Autokennzeichen, Ausbildung, Telefonnummer, Blutgruppe, Religion oder Glaubensausübung. Von besonderem Interesse sind laut HRW etwa längere Auslandsaufenthalte, der Verzicht auf Smartphones, zu viele Nachkommen, „abnormaler Energieverbrauch“ oder Spenden für Moscheen. Die App arbeite im Hintergrund über die IJOP mit diversen Datenbanken zusammen. So würden Beamte etwa alarmiert, wenn Bürger zu viel Strom verbrauchten, verschlüsselte Chatdienste wie WhatsApp nutzten oder Videokameras an Haupteingängen zu umgehen suchten.

    Bei ihrem harten Vorgehen gegen die Uiguren setzen die Behörden offenbar auch auf biometrische Erkennungsverfahren, um Angehörige der Minderheit außerhalb von Xinjiang zu kontrollieren. Die „New York Times“ sieht darin das erste bekanntgewordene Beispiel für eine Regierung, die gezielt KI-Methoden für „Racial Profiling“ zur Identifizierung ethnischer Minderheiten verwendet. So werde die Videoüberwachung nebst der dahinter geschalteten Identifizierungssoftware etwa genutzt, um in den Metropolen Hangzhou und Wenzhou nach Uiguren zu fahnden.
    Citizen Score – „Schufa auf Anabolika“

    Einen wichtigen Mosaikstein im chinesischen Überwachungsnetz dürfte bald auch das geplante Sozialbewertungssystem darstellen, das auch in westlichen Medien für Aufsehen sorgt. Die Regierung in Peking will bis 2020 einen ambitionierten „Social Credit“-Mechanismus auf Basis von Scoring-Verfahren der Finanzwirtschaft zur Bonitätsprüfung einführen. Staatliche Pilotprojekte laufen in gut 40 Regionen und Städten. Mit Punktabzügen und Strafen wie Sperren für Schnellzüge, Flüge, Luxushotels oder schnelles Internet muss dort etwa rechnen, wer zu viel Zeit mit Computerspielen verbringt, bei Rot über die Ampel geht, vor Fußgängerüberwegen nicht hält oder ein bestelltes Taxi nicht nimmt.

    Blaupausen für den „Citizen Score“ und die damit verknüpfte „Schufa auf Anabolika“ haben unter anderem der E-Commerce-Riese Alibaba über seine Tochter Ant Financial mit „Sesame Credit“ sowie Tencent mit dem App-System WeChat geliefert. Auch zur Propaganda-Indoktrination an Schulen setzt die KP seit Kurzem auf eine spielerische Mobilanwendung, bei der Nutzer besonders viel Punkte einheimsen können, wenn sie wechselnde Quizfragen zu Reden und Arbeiten insbesondere von Präsident Xi Jinping richtig beantworten.

    Im Westen wird das skizzierte Bewertungssystem für Bürger und Unternehmen als Big-Brother-Instrument mit tiefen Einschnitten in die Grundrechte angesehen. Eine repräsentative Umfrage des Institut für Chinastudien der FU Berlin von 2018 hat derweil ergeben, dass 80 Prozent der chinesischen Online-Nutzer das Vorhaben befürworten. Die hohe Akzeptanz hätten Bürger vor Ort in zusätzlichen Interviews bestätigt, betont Studienleiterin Genia Kostka. Die abweichende Wahrnehmung erkläre sich nicht nur damit, dass die Medien in China eingeschränkt seien und der Schutz der Privatsphäre im öffentlichen Diskurs keine große Rolle spiele. Viele Menschen dort empfänden derlei Systeme auch als wichtig, um „institutionelle und regulatorische Lücken zu schließen“.
    „Bedenken und Ängste vor Technik werden auf China projiziert“

    Wie viel heiße Luft in der staatlichen Initiative steckt, ist umstritten. Dabei gehe es bislang kaum um revolutionäre Technik wie KI oder allwissende Algorithmen, meint Jeremy Daum, Forscher am Paul Tsai China Center an der Yale Law School. Im Kern handle es sich um altbekannte finanzwirtschaftliche Scoring-Verfahren. Dazu kämen schwarze Listen, die im nächsten Jahr wohl stärker durchgesetzt werden sollten. Im Kern gehe es Peking vor allem um Propaganda, glaubt der Wissenschaftler. Den Bürgern solle beigebracht werden, ehrlich zu sein. Die Rede vom „Citizen Score“ habe vor allem erzieherischen Charakter.

    Was sich wie eine Episode aus der Science-Fiction-Serie „Black Mirror“ anhört, wird für Daum im Westen durch einen Spiegel verzerrt: „Wir projizieren unsere eigenen Bedenken und Ängste vor der Technik auf China.“ Pläne für ein landesweites gesellschaftliches Bonitätssystem „schreiten voran“, konstatieren dagegen Kristin Shi-Kupfer und Mareike Ohlberg vom Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics) in einer aktuellen Studie über „Chinas digitalen Aufstieg“. Die laufenden Pilotprojekte könnten „rasch zu einem wirkungsmächtigen und umfassenden Instrument ausgebaut werden“.

    Dies könnte zusammen mit anderen Facetten der ehrgeizigen chinesischen Digitalagenda auch „negative Folgen für Europas Politik und Grundwerte haben“, warnen die beiden Forscherinnen. Viele Aspekte des gesellschaftlichen Bewertungssystems stünden „im Widerspruch zu europäischen Werten – zum Beispiel der Schutz der Privatsphäre und der Meinungsfreiheit – und zu Bemühungen der EU, ethische Standards für die Digitalisierung zu etablieren“.
    Digitale Seidenstraße

    „China nähert sich seinem Ziel, bei 5G, Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI), Quantenforschung und anderen digitalen und disruptiven Technologien weltweit führend zu sein“, arbeiten die Autorinnen heraus. Konzerne wie Huawei, Alibaba oder Tencent seien bereits in ganz Europa am Geschäft mit Telekommunikationsnetzen, Rechenzentren und Online-Bezahlsystemen beteiligt. Die 5G-Einführung dürfte dazu führen, dass Huaweis Geräte und Software eine noch wichtigere Rolle bei der europäischen digitalen Infrastruktur spielten.

    Die „nationale Informatisierungsstrategie“ fordere chinesische Internet-Unternehmen auf, „in die Welt hinauszugehen“ und am Bau der „digitalen Seidenstraße“ mitzuwirken, heißt es in der Analyse. Ein kaum durchschaubares Geflecht aus staatlichen Kontrollmechanismen, Einflussnahme durch die Partei und internationalen Verbindungen im Sektor der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien stütze die chinesische Digitalpolitik.
    Orwell live erleben – Datenschutz vs. Komfort

    Auch der Paderborner Medienwissenschaftler Jörg Müller-Lietzkow sieht China auf dem Weg zur Weltmacht vor allem im KI-Bereich. Die Technik solle Wohlstand und Reichtum mehren, zugleich aber „die Effektivität der Kontrolle der Bürger deutlich erhöhen“. Alle Daten gingen an die nationalen Hersteller und stünden damit offen für den Zugriff auch durch den Staat und dessen ausgefeiltes System der gesellschaftlichen Steuerung. Vor Ort könne man Orwell so live erleben, zeichnet der Experte ein Gruselbild. Dass sich dagegen wenig Widerstand rühre, hänge auch mit der Historie einer Nation zusammen, die schon einmal eine große Mauer um sich herum errichtet habe. „Datenschutz gegen Komfort“ laute oft das Motto.

    Nach dem Blutbad rund um den Tiananmen-Platz habe die KP eine Art Sozialvertrag mit der Bevölkerung geschlossen, erläutert Merics-Analystin Shi-Kupfer. Diese verzichtete auf politische Teilhabe im Gegenzug für das Versprechen, am wachsenden Wohlstand des Landes beteiligt zu werden. „Die Chinesen betäuben sich durch den Kommerz, um den Schmerz zu vergessen“, hat die Forscherin ausgemacht. Möglichkeiten der präventiven Unterdrückung seien dank der technologischen Sprünge so ausgefeilt, dass eine größere Gegenbewegung derzeit „nicht vorstellbar ist“. Außer einer massiven Wirtschaftskrise gebe es aktuell auch kaum ein Thema, „das eine übergreifende Solidarisierung schaffen könnte“. Menschenrechtler und Bürgerrechtsorganisationen mahnen daher eine kollektive Antwort demokratischer Staaten auf das Phänomen an, dass China seinen „digitalen Totalitarismus“ etwa nach Afrika und Südamerika, aber auch nach Europa oder in die USA exportieren wolle.

    #Chine #histoire #société #surveillance #vie_privée

  • Die Chinesische Lösung | Jugendopposition in der DDR
    https://www.jugendopposition.de/themen/herbst89/145315/die-chinesische-loesung

    „In der Nacht vom 3. zum 4. Juni begann eine extreme Minderheit konterrevolutionärer Elemente im Herzen Pekings, auf dem Tian An Men, Platz des Himmlischen Friedens, einen brutalen und gefährlichen Aufruhr zu entfachen, der die ganze Volksrepublik China in eine kritische Lage brachte.“ So kommentiert die DDR-Zeitung Junge Welt am kommenden Tag die Ereignisse, die die ganze Welt erschüttern.

    Die ganze Welt? Nein, das Politbüro der SED applaudiert den chinesischen Genossen unverzüglich. Am 8. Juni 1989 erklärt sich dann auch die Volkskammer, das Scheinparlament der DDR, solidarisch. In einer offiziellen Verlautbarung heißt es: „Die Abgeordneten der Volkskammer stellen fest, dass in der gegenwärtigen Lage die von der Partei- und Staatsführung der Volksrepublik China beharrlich angestrebte politische Lösung innerer Probleme infolge der gewaltsamen, blutigen Ausschreitungen verfassungsfeindlicher Elemente verhindert worden ist [...]. Dabei sind bedauerlicherweise zahlreiche Verletzte und auch Tote zu beklagen.“

    Mit dem Massaker auf dem Platz des Himmlischen Friedens, das wahrscheinlich Tausenden Menschen das Leben gekostet hat, zerschlägt das chinesische Militär eine breite Bewegung, die mit Streiks und Demonstrationen für eine Demokratisierung der Volksrepublik China eintritt. Die Solidaritätserklärungen der SED-Führung sind auch ein deutliches innenpolitisches Signal: eine Warnung an die eigene Oppositionsbewegung, dass es auch in der DDR eine „chinesische Lösung“ geben könne.
    Massaker auf dem Platz des Himmlischen Friedens:
    Nach der Niederschlagung wird die DDR-Opposition aktiv

    Dennoch steht die Opposition sofort mutig gegen das Verbrechen in Peking auf. Unmittelbar nach dem Massaker werden in vielen Städten und von vielen Menschen Protestschreiben an die chinesische Staatsführung entworfen und Unterschriften gesammelt (Bildergalerie). Am 6. Juni 1989 versammeln sich erstmals knapp 30 Menschen vor der chinesischen Botschaft in Berlin-Pankow, um ihre Solidarität mit den chinesischen Studenten zu demonstrieren. Sie werden verhaftet, verhört und mit Ordnungsstrafen belegt.

    Kurz nachdem in Peking die ersten „Konterrevolutionäre“ im Zusammenhang mit den Ereignissen vom Platz des Himmlischen Friedens zum Tode verurteilt und hingerichtet werden, organisiert eine Gruppe aus Berlin-Pankow einen erneuten Demonstrationszug zur chinesischen Botschaft. Am 22. Juni 1989 treffen sich etwa 50 vor allem junge Leute in den Räumen der Superintendentur Pankow. Sie verfassen einen offenen Protestbrief an die chinesische Parteiführung sowie an die SED-Führung und wollen ihn dem Botschafter überreichen.

    Doch die Gruppe gelangt nicht einmal in die Nähe der Botschaft. Das Gelände ist weiträumig von Volkspolizei und Stasi abgesperrt. Alle Demonstranten werden festgenommen, stundenlang verhört und teilweise misshandelt. Die Festgenommenen erhalten später Ordnungsstrafverfügungen und müssen wegen „Beeinträchtigung der öffentlichen Ordnung und Sicherheit“ erhebliche Geldstrafen auf sich nehmen (Bildergalerie).

    In Berlin finden noch im Juni mehrere Aktionen in den Räumen der Kirche von Unten (KvU), in der Samariterkirche und in der Erlöserkirche statt, die von jungen Menschen organisiert werden. Viele von denen, die mit Trommeln und Gebeten gegen das in China begangene Unrecht protestieren, sind bereits einen Monat zuvor aktiv gegen die Fälschung der Kommunalwahlen in der DDR aufgetreten.

    Zahlreiche Demonstranten, die während der Ereignisse im Herbst 1989 auf die Straße gehen, haben die Ereignisse vom Platz des Himmlischen Friedens im Hinterkopf: Das brutale Vorgehen der chinesischen Staatsmacht gegen die Oppositionsbewegung ist unvergessen. Als im September und Oktober 1989 in Dresden, Leipzig und Berlin schwer bewaffnete Polizisten mit Wasserwerfern und Räumfahrzeugen gegen die friedlichen Demonstranten vorgehen, befürchten viele eine Eskalation wie auf dem Tian An Men. Nicht umsonst ist „Keine Gewalt!“ eine der häufigsten Parolen auf den Demos dieser Zeit.

    Radio Glasnost: Protestaktionen gegen das Massaker auf dem Platz des Himmlischen Friedens, Abschrift

    Moderatorin:
    „Die Empörung der chinesischen Studentin teilten in den letzten Wochen viele Bürger der DDR, und sie protestierten mit Andachten, Kundgebungen und Trommelfasten gegen das Vorgehen der Armee in China als auch gegen die Art, wie in der DDR darüber Bericht erstattet wurde. Dieser Protest brachte häufiger ziemlichen Ärger mit der Staatsmacht ein, wie die beiden folgenden Beispiele belegen, von denen wir erst jetzt erfuhren.“

    Sprecher:
    „Am 8. Juni, vier Tage nach dem Massaker in Peking, tauchten bei einer Abendveranstaltung im Jugendklub ‚Atelier 89 in der Greifswalder Straße 89 in Ost-Berlin Flugblätter auf. Darin wurde unter der Losung ‚China ist nicht fern für den darauffolgenden Abend eine Demonstration durch den Stadtbezirk Prenzlauer Berg angekündigt. Am Treffpunkt Sredzki-, Ecke Rykestraße versammelte sich zunächst ein massives Aufgebot an zivilen und uniformierten Ordnungshütern. Sogar 30 verdächtig aussehende Personen wurden festgenommen und ins Vernehmungsgebäude Magdalenenstraße transportiert. Anderentags wurden sie um die Mittagszeit wieder freigelassen. Ein gesuchter Organisator der China-Demonstration war offenbar unter ihnen nicht gefunden worden. Stattdessen wurde dann der Leiter des Jugendklubs entlassen und das ganze Klubaktiv als ‚politisch untragbar bezeichnet. Einen Monat später, am 12. Juni, wurden dann drei junge Männer im Alter zwischen 20 und 25 Jahren in Ost-Berlin verhaftet. Ihnen wird die Herstellung der Flugblätter und eines Demoplakates mit der Aufschrift ‚China ist nicht fern vorgeworfen. Inzwischen laufen die Ermittlungsverfahren gegen sie nach Paragraph 220 des Strafgesetzbuchs wegen der ‚Herabwürdigung von staatlichen Organen und ausländischen Vertretungen. Im entsprechenden Paragraphen heißt es: ‚Ebenso wird bestraft, wer Schriften, Gegenstände oder Symbole, die geeignet sind, die staatliche oder öffentliche Ordnung zu beeinträchtigen, das sozialistische Zusammenleben zu stören oder die staatliche oder gesellschaftliche Ordnung verächtlich zu machen, verbreitet oder in sonstiger Weise zugänglich macht. Danach kann also das Hochhalten eines nicht genehmigten Plakates mit bis zu drei Jahren Knast geahndet werden. China ist eben näher, als mancher denkt.
    Auch in Dresden. Dort besetzten Leute aus einem autonomen Forum am 9. Juli die große Dresdner Kreuzkirche und begannen ein ‚Trommeln für Peking`. Kurze Zeit danach war der Altmarkt von Polizeikräften abgeriegelt. Eine Videokamera filmte alle Passanten, die in die Kirche wollten. Einige wurden zur Polizeiwache abtransportiert. Dort wurden sie von zivilen Beamten verhört. Das klang dann so:

    Frage: ‚Wissen Sie, was für eine Veranstaltung in der Kirche abgehalten wurde?`
    Antwort: ‚Ich vermute, es ging um die Todesurteile in China.`
    Frage: ‚Wo gab es ähnliche Veranstaltungen?`
    Antwort: ‚In der Gethsemanekirche, in der Samariterkirche und in der Erlöserkirche in Berlin.`

    Dort griffen die Polizeikräfte nicht direkt ein. Sie hatten die Kirchen allerdings umstellt.

    Frage: ‚Hatten Sie vor, in die Kirche zu gehen?`
    Antwort: ‚Ja, ich bin der Meinung, die Kirchen müssten für jedermann offen sein.`

    Zum Abschluss sagte der Vernehmer, dass außerhalb der Kirche eine nicht genehmigte Demonstration stattfinden sollte und die Festnahmen nur zur Sicherheit erfolgten. Deshalb wunderte es die Betroffenen, dass sie Ordnungsstrafen bezahlen sollen. Zitat aus der schriftlichen Begründung: ‚Sie haben in der Dresdner Kreuzkirche durch das Schlagen auf eine Trommel ruhestörenden Lärm verursacht und damit andere Bürger ungebührlich belästigt. Damit missachten Sie im groben Maße gesellschaftliche Interessen.`
    Insgesamt müssen 13 Personen Ordnungsstrafen zahlen in Höhe von 500 bis 1.000 Mark. Insgesamt will der Staat 11.300 Mark dafür kassieren, dass einige Bürger ihre Solidarität mit der Demokratiebewegung in China zum Ausdruck brachten.“

    Moderatorin:
    „Bei den drei in Berlin Verhafteten handelt es sich nach unseren Informationen um Hendrik Schulze, Torsten Röder und Jörg Jacobi. Bislang ist nicht bekannt, wann gegen sie das Verfahren eröffnet wird.“

    Quelle: Radio Glasnost, Juli 1989

    #Chine #Allemagne #DDR #Glasnost #4689

  • MoA - June 04, 2019 - Tiananmen Square - Do The Media Say What Really Happened ?
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/06/tiananmen-square-do-the-media-say-what-really-happened.html


    Le bloggeur Moon of Alabama (#MoA) et un commentateur de son article nous rappellent qu’il y a des informations fiables qui démentent le récit préféré en occident à propos des événements du square Tiananmen il y a trente ans.

    Since 1989 the western media write anniversary pieces on the June 4 removal of protesters from the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The view seems always quite one sided and stereotyped with a brutal military that suppresses peaceful protests.

    That is not the full picture. Thanks to Wikileaks we have a few situation reports from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing at that time. They describe a different scene than the one western media paint to this day.

    Ten thousands of people, mostly students, occupied the square for six weeks. They protested over the political and personal consequences of Mao’s chaotic Cultural Revolution which had upset the whole country. The liberalization and changeover to a more capitalist model under Deng Xiopings had yet to show its success and was fought by the hardliners in the Communist Party.

    The more liberal side of the government negotiated with the protesters but no agreement was found. The hardliners in the party pressed for the protest removal. When the government finally tried to move the protesters out of the very prominent square they resisted.

    On June 3 the government moved troops towards the city center of Beijing. But the military convoys were held up. Some came under attack. The U.S. embassy reported that soldiers were taken as hostages:

    TENSION MOUNTED THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AS BEIJING RESIDENTS VENTED THEIR ANGER BY HARASSING MILITARY AND POLICE PERSONNEL AND ATTACKING THEIR VEHICLES. STUDENTS DISPLAYED CAPTURED WEAPONS, MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES, INCLUDING IN FRONT OF THE ZHONGNANHAI LEADERSHIP COMPOUND. AN EFFORT TO FREE STILL CAPTIVE MILITARY PERSONNEL OR TO CLEAR THE SOUTHERN ENTRANCE TO ZHONGNANHAI MAY HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF A LIMITED TEAR GAS ATTACK IN THAT AREA AROUND 1500 HOURS LOCAL.

    There are some gruesome pictures of the government side casualties of these events.

    Another cable from June 3 notes:

    THE TROOPS HAVE OBVIOUSLY NOT YET BEEN GIVEN ORDERS PERMITTING THEM TO USE FORCE. THEIR LARGE NUMBERS, THE FACT THAT THEY ARE HELMETED, AND THE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS THEY ARE CARRYING SUGGEST THAT THE FORCE OPTION IS REAL.

    In the early morning of June 4 the military finally reached the city center and tried to push the crowd out of Tiananmen Square:

    STUDENTS SET DEBRIS THROWN ATOP AT LEAST ONE ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER AND LIT THE DEBRIS, ACCORDING TO EMBOFF NEAR THE SCENE. ABC REPORTED THAT ONE OTHER ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER IS AFLAME. AT LEAST ONE BUS WAS ALSO BURNING, ACCORDING TO ABC NEWS REPORTERS ON THE SQUARE AT 0120. THE EYEWITNESSES REPORTED THAT TROOPS AND RIOT POLICE WERE ON THE SOUTHERN END OF THE SQUARE AND TROOPS WERE MOVING TO THE SQUARE FROM THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE CITY.

    The soldiers responded as all soldiers do when they see that their comrades get barbecued:

    THERE HAS REPORTEDLY BEEN INDISCRIMINATE GUNFIRE BY THE TROOPS ON THE SQUARE. WE CAN HEAR GUNFIRE FROM THE EMBASSY AND JIANGUOMENWAI DIPLOMATIC COMPOUND. EYEWITNESSES REPORT TEAR GAS ON THE SQUARE, FLARES BEING FIRED ABOVE IT, AND TRACERS BEING FIRED OVER IT.

    Most of the violence was not in the square, which was already quite empty at that time, but in the streets around it. The soldiers tried to push the crowd away without using their weapons:

    THE SITUATION IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY IS VERY CONFUSED. POLOFFS AT THE BEIJING HOTEL REPORTED THAT TROOPS ARE PUSHING A LARGE CROWD OF DEMONSTRATORS EAST ON CHANGANJIE. ALTHOUGH THESE TROOPS APPEAR NOT TO BE FIRING ON THE CROWD, POLOFFS REPORT FIRING BEHIND THE TROOPS COMING FROM THE SQUARE.

    With the Square finally cleared the student protest movement ebbed away.

    Western secret services smuggled some 800 of the leaders of their failed ’color revolution’ out of the country, reported the Financial Times in 2014:

    Many went first to France, but most travelled on to the US for scholarships at Ivy League universities.

    The extraction missions, aided by MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA, according to many accounts, had scrambler devices, infrared signallers, night-vision goggles and weapons.

    It is unclear how many people died during the incident. The numbers vary between dozens to several hundred. It also not known how many of them were soldiers, and how many were violent protesters or innocent bystanders.

    The New York Times uses the 30th anniversary of the June 4 incidents to again promote a scene that is interpreted as successful civil resistance.

    He has become a global symbol of freedom and defiance, immortalized in photos, television shows, posters and T-shirts.

    But three decades after the Chinese Army crushed demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square, “Tank Man” — the person who boldly confronted a convoy of tanks barreling down a Beijing avenue — is as much a mystery as ever.

    But was the man really some hero? It is not known what the the man really wanted or if he was even part of the protests:

    According to the man who took the photo, AP photographer Jeff Widener, the photo dates from June 5 the day after the Tiananmen Square incident. The tanks were headed away from, and not towards, the Square. They were blocked not by a student but by a man with a shopping bag crossing the street who had chosen to play chicken with the departing tanks. The lead tank had gone out its way to avoid causing him injury.

    The longer video of the tank hold up (turn off the ghastly music) shows that the man talked with the tank commander who makes no attempt to force him away. The scene ends after two minutes when some civilian passersby finally tell the man to move along. The NYT also writes:

    But more recently, the government has worked to eliminate the memory of Tank Man, censoring images of him online and punishing those who have evoked him.
    ...
    As a result of the government’s campaign, many people in China, especially younger Chinese, do not recognize his image.

    To which Carl Zha, who currently travels in China and speaks the language, responds:

    Carl Zha @CarlZha - 15:23 utc - 4 Jun 2019

    For the record, Everyone in China know about what happened on June 4th, 1989. Chinese gov remind them every year by cranking up censorship to 11 around anniversary. Idk Western reporters who claim people in China don’t know are just esp stupid/clueless or deliberately misleading

    In fact that applies to China reporting in general. I just don’t know whether Western China reporters are that stupid/clueless or deliberately misleading. I used to think people can’t be that stupid but I am constantly surprised...

    and

    Carl Zha @CarlZha - 15:42 utc - 4 Jun 2019

    This Image was shared in one of the Wechat group I was in today. Yes, everyone understood the reference

    Carl recommends the two part movie The Gate To Heavenly Peace (vid) as the best documentary of the Tiananmen Square protests. It explores the political and social background of the incident and includes many original voices and scenes.

    Posted by b on June 4, 2019 at 03:00

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/tiananmen-square-world-marks-30-years-since-massacre-as-china-censors-all-mention/ar-AACl8Sy?li=BBnbcA1
    https://search.wikileaks.org/?query=Tiananmen&exact_phrase=&any_of=&exclude_words=&document_dat
    https://twitter.com/Obscureobjet/status/1135970437886881792
    https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/89BEIJING15390_a.html
    https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/89BEIJING15411_a.html
    https://www.ft.com/content/4f970144-e658-11e3-9a20-00144feabdc0
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/world/asia/tiananmen-tank-man.html
    http://www.fccj.or.jp/number-1-shimbun/item/984-the-truth-about-tankman/984-the-truth-about-tankman.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq8zFLIftGk


    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/world/asia/tiananmen-tank-man.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gtt2JxmQtg&feature=youtu.be

    –---

    Here’s Minqi Li — a student of the “right” (liberal) at the time ["How did I arrive at my current intellectual position? I belong to the “1989 generation.” But unlike the rest of the 1989 generation, I made the unusual intellectual and political trajectory from the Right to the Left, and from being a neoliberal “democrat” to a revolutionary Marxist"] — about 1989.

    It is in the preface of his book “The Rise of China”, which I don’t recommend as a theoretical book. It doesn’t affect his testimony though:
    The 1980s was a decade of political and intellectual excitement in China. Despite some half-hearted official restrictions, large sections of the Chinese intelligentsia were politically active and were able to push for successive waves of the so-called “emancipation of ideas” (jiefang sixiang). The intellectual critique of the already existing Chinese socialism at first took place largely within a Marxist discourse. Dissident intellectuals called for more democracy without questioning the legitimacy of the Chinese Revolution or the economic institutions of socialism.
    [...]
    After 1985, however, economic reform moved increasingly in the direction of the free market. Corruption increased and many among the bureaucratic elites became the earliest big capitalists. Meanwhile, among the intellectuals, there was a sharp turn to the right. The earlier, Maoist phase of Chinese socialism was increasingly seen as a period of political oppression and economic failure. Chinese socialism was supposed to have “failed,” as it lost the economic growth race to places such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Many regarded Mao Zedong himself as an ignorant, backward Chinese peasant who turned into a cruel, power-hungry despot who had been responsible for the killing of tens of millions. (This perception of Mao is by no means a new one, we knew it back in the 1980s.) The politically active intellectuals no longer borrowed discourse from Marxism. Instead, western classical liberalism and neoliberal economics, as represented by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, had become the new, fashionable ideology.
    [...]
    As the student demonstrations grew, workers in Beijing began to pour onto the streets in support of the students, who were, of course, delighted. However, being an economics student, I could not help experiencing a deep sense of irony. On the one hand, these workers were the people that we considered to be passive, obedient, ignorant, lazy, and stupid. Yet now they were coming out to support us. On the other hand, just weeks before, we were enthusiastically advocating “reform” programs that would shut down all state factories and leave the workers unemployed. I asked myself: do these workers really know who they are supporting?
    Unfortunately, the workers did not really know. In the 1980s, in terms of material living standards, the Chinese working class remained relatively well-off. There were nevertheless growing resentments on the part of the workers as the program of economic reform took a capitalist turn. Managers were given increasing power to impose capitalist-style labor disciplines (such as Taylorist “scientific management”) on the workers. The reintroduction of “material incentives” had paved the way for growing income inequality and managerial corruption.
    [...]
    By mid-May 1989, the student movement became rapidly radicalized, and liberal intellectuals and student leaders lost control of events. During the “hunger strike” at Tiananmen Square, millions of workers came out to support the students. This developed into a near-revolutionary situation and a political showdown between the government and the student movement was all but inevitable. The liberal intellectuals and student leaders were confronted with a strategic decision. They could organize a general retreat, calling off the demonstrations, though this strategy would certainly be demoralizing. The student leaders would probably be expelled from the universities and some liberal intellectuals might lose their jobs. But more negative, bloody consequences would be avoided.
    Alternatively, the liberal intellectuals and the student leaders could strike for victory. They could build upon the existing political momentum, mobilize popular support, and take steps to seize political power. If they adopted this tactic, it was difficult to say if they would succeed but there was certainly a good chance. The Communist Party’s leadership was divided. Many army commanders’ and provincial governments’ loyalty to the central government was in question. The student movement had the support of the great majority of urban residents throughout the country. To pursue this option, however, the liberal intellectuals and students had to be willing and able to mobilize the full support of the urban working class. This was a route that the Chinese liberal intellectuals simply would not consider.
    So what they did was … nothing. The government did not wait long to act. While the students themselves peacefully left Tiananmen Square, thousands of workers died in Beijing’s streets defending them.

    Posted by: vk | Jun 4, 2019 3:21:31 PM

    #Chine #démocratie #histoire #4689

  • #Chine : la #mémoire du massacre de #Tiananmen est en voie d’effacement
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/050617/chine-la-memoire-du-massacre-de-tiananmen-est-en-voie-deffacement

    Place Tiananmen, le 5 juin 1989. © Reuters Vingt-huit ans après le massacre de juin 1989, l’événement est toujours tenu sous le boisseau par les autorités chinoises. Mediapart a rencontré des familles qui se battent encore pour la vérité.

    #International

  • British Government was warned about Tiananmen Square ’bloodshed’ two weeks before Beijing massacre | The Independent
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tiananmen-square-massacre-warning-british-government-1989-beijing-cen

    The British Government was warned the Chinese People’s Liberation Army were preparing to kill hundreds of student protesters in #Tiananmen Square two weeks before the massacre took place, recently declassified documents suggest.

    A secret diplomatic cable, recently declassified by the National Archives, showed Britain’s envoy to Beijing had warned officials in London of the potential “bloodshed”.

    ...

    At the time, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said she was “shocked and appalled by the shootings”.

    #massacre #Chine #diplomatie

  • DIMENTICARE TIANANMEN

    Non ricordo più le cose.
    Non ricordo i carri armati, gli spari, le grida.
    Non ricordo i compagni che cadevano, non ricordo le facce.
    Ricordo la Piazza.
    Si chiamava Tiananmen, mi pare.

    La notte tra il 3 e il 4 giugno 1989 l’esercito muove dalla periferia verso Piazza Tiananmen per reprimere la protesta pacifica di studenti, intellettuali, operai, cittadini comuni che da settimane manifestano per la libertà e la democrazia. In poche ore va in scena un tremendo massacro, rimasto scolpito nella memoria collettiva di tutto il mondo nonostante l’azione di censura e disinformazione messa in atto dal Governo Cinese.


    http://www.beccogiallo.org/shop/edizioni-beccogiallo/27-dimenticare-tiananmen.html
    #livre #BD #bande-dessinée #bande_dessinée #Chine #mémoire #Tian'anmen #Tiananmen #histoire

  • Tiananmen, 15 minutes d’apocalypse - ursula gauthier
    http://www.ursulagauthier.fr/tiananmen-15-minutes-dapocalypse

    Ils ont quitté la place #Tiananmen par une petite rue latérale et venaient de rejoindre l’avenue de la Paix céleste (Chang’an en chinois), quand trois chars ont surgi des nuages de fumée et foncé vers eux. Tout ceux qui n’ont pas eu le temps ou la force de sauter les barrières métalliques bordant la chaussée ont été écrasés sous les chenilles. Puis les chars ont continué leur route, laissant au bord du trottoir une scène d’apocalypse.

    L’un de ces étudiants était occupé à photographier la séquence historique de la retraite de son groupe. Il a eu la chance d’échapper au carnage. Malgré l’horreur, il a continué à prendre des photos. Plus tard, il a développé clandestinement sa pellicule et annoté les tirages à la main.

  • Liu Xinwu : « Personne ne peut m’arracher le droit de me remémorer ma vie »
    #Ecrivain #chinois reconnu, Liu Xinwu aborde dans Je suis né un 4 juin le thème tabou des #événements de #Tiananmen, en 1989.

    Un éclairage très intéressant sur les évènements de Tian An Men

    http://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2013/06/04/liu-xinwu-personne-ne-peut-m-arracher-le-droit-de-me-rememorer-ma-vie_342367

    Revue de Presse Hebdomadaire sur la Chine du 03/06/2013