Once again, it’s June 4th and another anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre of 1989.
Hard to believe 24 years have passed since hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters were shot in the square and with those years, so much change.
Anyone who visits China today will see cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou that are more modern than most American cities where sophisticated residents dress in the most fashionable styles, drive brand new cars and carry the most up-to-date electronic devices.
More than 300 million Chinese have risen to the middle class and there are allegedly 83 billionaires in the Chinese parliament.
While the economy has embraced quasi-capitalism with a vengeance, the politics of one party rule has remained. Twenty-four years after a brief promise of democratic reform, the leaders’ aim to squelch any mass political protest is unwavering. Even though some of the new leaders installed in November had, as young men, expressed sympathy with the short-lived student democracy movement of 1989, no one really expects any announcement of regret about the massacre or overruling of the official verdict that the protests were a counterrevolutionary rebellion that had to be crushed.
To learn more about the events of June 4, 1989, read the award winning international thriller, Rabbit in the Moon by Deborah and Joel Shlian.