Jun 7, 2015

“Freedom” In China: 26 Years After The Tiananmen Square Massacre


By on Sunday, June 07, 2015

 Twenty six years ago, thousands of Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square and opened fire on unarmed protesters. As many as one million demonstrators–mostly university-age liberals–had gathered there in the weeks prior, seeking both political and economic reforms. While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had silenced previous demonstrations, the violent retaking of the Square was so brutal that it earned the name the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square#WjccdmeYjxjI6RKG.99

 We still don’t know how many people died at Tiananmen Square in 1989, as the Chinese government has done everything in its power to suppress and forget about the activities that took place that day. While official records say that 241 people lost their lives, most estimates suggest that number is much higher. A doctor at the time said that 500 lives were lost, while a radio announcer reported the Tiananmen death toll at more than 1,000 people.
 It’s interesting to see the way things have and haven’t changed over the past two and a half decades in China. Freedom House, an independent organization dedicated to promoting freedom around the world, labeled China as “Not Free” in their 2014 Freedom in the World report, giving the country almost the lowest score possible–in nearly every category (see their ranking methodologies and definitions here). A number of factors contribute to the country’s lack of freedom, but most can be boiled down to the Chinese government.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square#WjccdmeYjxjI6RKG.99

 The government’s grip on its constituents is strong and unyielding. With the current climate, there are few opportunities for people to speak out and enact change. The Chinese Communist Party has a monopoly on political power: organized opposition is illegal, and independent political parties are strictly forbidden. Those who participate in such organizations face jail time or injuries just for speaking their minds. The CCP’s complete domination over the government and, therefore, the policies that guide the country, ensure that only they can make the rules.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square#WjccdmeYjxjI6RKG.99

 One of the ways China’s government restricts the freedom of its inhabitants is through censorship. In China, all media outlets–print, television and radio–are either owned by the state or by the CCP. While this control results in a steady stream of single-sided information on most mediums, recent technologies have helped some Chinese break free from governmental propaganda.
Blogs, social media sites and microblogging forums give ordinary Chinese citizens a voice, allowing them to share breaking stories that would otherwise be censored, or offer support on common issues to create a deeper sense of community. Unfortunately, the government continues to look for ways to better monitor and revoke these online platforms. Internet access is limited, and social sites are bugged. Journalists, in particular, face an extremely high likelihood of being arrested, threatened or injured if they cover any stories that paint the CCP or its policies in a bad light.

Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square/2/#6GQOSbOPwkrFzmUS.99

Blogs, social media sites and microblogging forums give ordinary Chinese citizens a voice, allowing them to share breaking stories that would otherwise be censored, or offer support on common issues to create a deeper sense of community. Unfortunately, the government continues to look for ways to better monitor and revoke these online platforms. Internet access is limited, and social sites are bugged. Journalists, in particular, face an extremely high likelihood of being arrested, threatened or injured if they cover any stories that paint the CCP or its policies in a bad light.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square/2/#6GQOSbOPwkrFzmUS.99
Blogs, social media sites and microblogging forums give ordinary Chinese citizens a voice, allowing them to share breaking stories that would otherwise be censored, or offer support on common issues to create a deeper sense of community. Unfortunately, the government continues to look for ways to better monitor and revoke these online platforms. Internet access is limited, and social sites are bugged. Journalists, in particular, face an extremely high likelihood of being arrested, threatened or injured if they cover any stories that paint the CCP or its policies in a bad light.

 Although China’s strict government censorship strategies are worrisome (to say the least), governmental leadership gets even more invasive through policies that alter the demography of ethnic minority regions and place limitations on nuclear families. Historically, China’s one-child policy has prohibited parents from having more than one child. Until recently, people who disobeyed the government faced forced abortions, sterilization, heavy fines, and other consequences.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square/2/#6GQOSbOPwkrFzmUS.99

 While the one-child policy has relaxed in the past couple years–certain types of families are now allowed to have two children–decades of promoting a small family size have made an impact. Observers say that after years and years of propaganda convincing people that one child is best, the thought has become ingrained in many people’s minds. Now, even though some families are allowed to have more kids, many have chosen not to, believe the government’s original arguments that this choice is superior and better for the whole family.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square/2/#6GQOSbOPwkrFzmUS.99

Despite the hundreds of lives lost, public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square Massacre is still banned in China today. After more than a quarter of a century, China’s people still aren’t “free” in any sense of the word.
Read more at http://all-that-is-interesting.com/tiananmen-square/2/#6GQOSbOPwkrFzmUS.99

Despite the hundreds of lives lost, public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square Massacre is still banned in China today. After more than a quarter of a century, China’s people still aren’t “free” in any sense of the word.

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