China

Remembering and hoping

Earlier this week was the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen tragedy in Beijing. It was a very tragic event and is still one of the most sensitive topics in the mainland. While it’s heavily censored and not publicly commemorated, authorities can’t ignore it. Thus, they’ve realized that instead of pretending that it never happened, it’s better to come up with a strong argument.
An argument such as that the country has developed so much and benefited so many people that many people, especially the young don’t care about politics or the past anymore. This is supposedly a good thing because it means their lives are content enough that they can just focus on their own livelihoods without worrying about political issues which are better left to the authorities. As such, people just don’t care about past events like what happened in Tiananmen and have chosen to ignore it. This is a solid though cynical argument.
The only problem with the argument is that it’s not exactly true. Because the people haven’t really been allowed to remember the incident, much less learn about it in the first place. So it’s a false argument to make.
And while it’s true the nation’s economy has continued to grow and people’s lives have improved in terms of basic and material goods, the same can’t exactly be said for how stable, open and just society is. One can’t be provided while the other is ignored, or deteriorates.
Sometimes protests can be messy, blood needs to be shed and order must be maintained, but the aims and hopes of those gone or vanquished can’t be forgotten nor negated. Even 25 years on, they haven’t been forgotten and their hopes haven’t been proven false or obsolete. In this time, what they desired then for their country and society is still valid.
It’s something those in power need to understand.

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2 thoughts on “Remembering and hoping

  1. Agreed, whether or not there is something to the argument that China has moved on… it’s not fair because the people haven’t been given the choice to move on or not. They’ve been forced to move on. It isn’t right. Some things have changed, that’s true, but the government’s obsessiveness with covering up this incident speaks volumes about what they really focus on…

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    1. Good comment, Ray, people haven’t been given the choice at all. The govt’s obsessiveness also shows serious insecurity and lack of faith in the people.

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