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Jun 05

Six Four: A simplistic view

Written by DJ on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 at 6:38 am
Filed under:Letters | Tags:
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This one-liner also comes from MITBBS.

In the end, it was simply a case of an immature government using immature suppression tactics against immature students. It could have been no big deal if rubber bullets and high pressure water canons were used instead of [the guns and tanks].

就是一个不成熟的政府对一些不成熟的学生动用了不成熟的手段进行镇压,要是换成橡皮子弹和高压水枪,估计屁事没有.


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20 Responses to “Six Four: A simplistic view”

  1. FOARP Says:

    Agreed. And any possibility of the debate becoming more mature was killed along with the students.

  2. FOARP Says:

    Agreed. And any possibility of the debate becoming more mature was killed along with the students.

    Weird, some comments seem to be disappearing.

  3. admin Says:

    @FOARP,

    I did not see any of your comments in the spam filter. Could you please let us know how often have you experienced difficulties in posting comments?

  4. MutantJedi Says:

    @foolsmountain,
    Thank you very much for posting these translations.

    @FOARP,
    Ironic then that you find yourself participating in the debate. 🙂

  5. admin Says:

    @Buxi,

    It’s not likely that FOARP is having the cache problem since he was posting on the newest thread.

    The cache problem was cause by a Cache-Control setting on the server side (max-age=1209600), which basically means the page will not auto-refresh for 1,209,600 seconds, or about 15 days. I have tried to overwrite the setting and I think the problem has been fixed.

    If anyone still experiences this problem, please let me know. Plus, for those web experts out there, please offer a helping hand. Thank you.

  6. Smith Says:

    @FOARP:quite true. so immature. What happen recently in T. show that the gov is still immature. doing blackout and sending army, instead of sending anti-riot police like every mature government will have done (these mature government also discuss with people rioting, and try to solve the cause of the riot… not only repression)

  7. Buxi Says:

    @Smith,

    I saw numerous riot police in Lhasa, followed up by fully armed paramilitary forces as the riots grew larger and larger. That reminds me of exactly what the United States did in the 1992 LA Riots. A much more “mature” and professional response than 19 years ago.

    I also agree the Chinese government should make an effort to solve the root cause of the riot. I have a feeling you will disagree however what the root cause of the riot is. Regardless, negotiations with the Dalai Lama are intended to achieve that. But whether a solution is possible… we’ll have to see.

  8. FOARP Says:

    @Buxi – By the way, thanks a lot for hitting the Tiananmen square issue head-on like this, a lot of Chinese would rather forget about it – this is wholly understandable.

  9. Opersai Says:

    @FOARP: I think you might need to wait about half minutes or so before refreshing the page. It won’t show right away after you submit. Some cache problem as the admin said probably.

  10. Buxi Says:

    @FOARP,

    @Buxi – By the way, thanks a lot for hitting the Tiananmen square issue head-on like this, a lot of Chinese would rather forget about it – this is wholly understandable.

    One of the authors of one of the posts that I translated (one of the better ones too) emailed me, and told me he had concerns about sharing this with Western readers. He said American readers wouldn’t understand our perspective, wouldn’t understand the context. This is the reason why so many Chinese don’t speak on this and other related subjects with Westerners.

    But amongst ourselves… my god, you should see all of the Chinese message boards. Every single one is bombarded with debate and analysis of every aspect of Six Four; some think its time we move on, but no one has “forgotten” about it.

    Frankly, I agreed with him… but most Westerners don’t understand our perspective only because they haven’t been exposed to it. This is why sharing messages like the one he wrote, which is very moderate in the Chinese world, is critically important.

  11. Jane Says:

    The sentence is simplistic, but it sums up the situation well. Let us all learn from this painful lesson, and dedicate ourselves to the task still ahead, so that those who died shall not have died in vain, and that this people and this culture will once again flourish on the earth.

  12. raffiaflower Says:

    I suppose if you haven’t faced hunger, cold, run from bombs, seen your family and friends killed, and despaired about your own future, yes, it’s easy to slag off people for being “immature” when you haven’t been there yourself.
    But those old men who ordered the troops into the square were no less patriotic than the protestors.
    It was a generation gap and power struggle between sides that each thought best knew the country’s course.
    And fortunately, the right side won, because if it hadn’t, some people wouldn’t be around, in the comfort of some Shanghai or Beijing bistro, dismissing those old men for being coldblooded dinosaurs who would devour even their own children.
    It is because of such immature people that China needs patriotic education, to teach them early that the foreign moon is not always rounder, as happened with that generation in that square.
    The point of such education, i think, is not to vilify the foreigners, but that their wealth and advancement was achieved, very often, at the expense of others, including China.

  13. Charles Liu Says:

    Was it really that simple? Rubber bullet and fire hose?

    According to declassified NSA intel, the Chinese government did attempt to clear the square with unarmed troops:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/09-02.htm

    I learned this a few years ago from an OpEd by Gregory Clark:

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20040915gc.html

  14. Buxi Says:

    Charles,

    I think the editorial by Gregory Clark is interesting.

    However, the link you posted of the declassified NSA intel is misleading, unfortunately. It’s referring to an incident earlier the morning of 6/3 (before all of this started), that I believe we know a little more about now.

    If I remember correctly, a bus used to transport weapons for the PLA was surrounded and taken by protesters. This was just outside of Zhongnanhai. The government was very, very concerned about this load of weapons getting into the hands of potential rioters, and sent out a large contingent of armed police in riot gear + tear gas to recapture the bus.

    It’s not referring to the night of 6/3. Something did change from the morning of to the night of 6/3; the use of force was clearly authorized that night.

  15. Charles Liu Says:

    Buxi, you are right, the document might be just before 6/3. This series of NSA documents are titled “Secretary of State’s Morning Summary for June 3, 1989, China: Police Use Tear Gas on Crowds”:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/#d9

    What it does demonstrates the PLA was initially unarmed, and the government did try tear gas.

    As an American, I can assure you if tear gas was met with molotov cocktail, the US government would also resort to real bullets.

  16. Buxi Says:

    Charles,

    Here’s the US Secretary of State’s summary from the morning of 6/4:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB16/documents/13-01.htm

    Troops back by tanks and armored personnel carriers battled crowds of civilians for seven hours before reaching the square shortly before dawn today Beijing time.

    Yesterday all major media in Beijing featured strong warnings not to interfere with martial law authorities and admonished residents to stay off the street and away from Tiananmen. This was the strongest warning since martial law was declared on May 20th, but thousands of people chose to ignore it. Tipped that the military would again attempt to reach the square, residents massed to confront the troops as they had several times previously. This time the troops brandished weapons, and in minor clashes yesterday evening they fired teargas and used truncheons to battle demonstrators. These incidents may have been intended as a final warning before moving in earnest.

    During previous encounters troops previously were under orders not to use force.. (redacted).. such was not the case this time .. (redacted*).. shooting began shortly thereafter. Perhaps believing that the army would back down in the face of concerted resistance, thousands of civilians stood their ground or swarmed around military vehicles. APCs were set on fire, and demonstrators besiged troops with rocks, bottles, and molotov cocktails.

    I’m incredibly curious about the long passage redacted from before “shooting began shortly thereafter”. What does the US state department believe immediately preceded the shooting…?

  17. BMY Says:

    the government sent unarmed soldiers wearing white shirts in civilise buses and surrounded by civilians and had clash. it was on 6/2 or early 6/3 I can’t remember(I was there). just a group of bare fists teenagers(soldiers) were sent to could not succeed. It was just too soft. I can’t remember the government tried anything like tear gas or water canon. So hours later the suppression went to the 180 degree end with too much violence. During the troops marching towards the square from both east and west sides of ChangAnJie on the night of 6/3, there was no any sign of water cannon and rubber bullets. There were many live bullets holes in the street.

  18. BMY Says:

    What happen recently in T was very different. other ethnic people got killed, shops/schools got burned down, national flag got tore down. the unrest was happening in few provinces. I don’t think China has that large riot police force.

    in the early June of 1989, there was only protest in the tiny Tiananmen squre and Changanjie out of whole country. there was no protester’s violence against any civilians target. the riot only happened to against troops who tried to move in.

    these two are very different just from the ground

  19. MatthewTan Says:

    @16 Buxi says:
    ” During previous encounters troops previously were under orders not to use force.. (redacted).. such was not the case this time .. (redacted*).. shooting began shortly thereafter. Perhaps believing that the army would back down in the face of concerted resistance, thousands of civilians stood their ground or swarmed around military vehicles. APCs were set on fire, and demonstrators besiged troops with rocks, bottles, and molotov cocktails.

    I’m incredibly curious about the long passage redacted from before “shooting began shortly thereafter”. What does the US state department believe immediately preceded the shooting…?” ”

    You are “incredibly curious”, so am I. This allows room for speculation that the dark forces of the CIA was at work.

  20. raventhorn4000 Says:

    4.5 lines missing in that passage.

    Hmm… Wonder how “reasonable people” can get access to that 4.5 lines.

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