Jun 09

6/4 and Zhao Ziyang’s Chinese’ reactions around the World…

Written by pug_ster on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 1:06 am
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6/4 came and went and I came to this article about the Overseas Chinese’ reactions to these this event. Much credit given to China Beat.


I rather not discuss issues pertaining to Media nor from the Chinese dissidents living in that country but rather get a consensus of what the Overseas Chinese’ reactions to 6/4 incident and as well as Zhao Ziyang’s memoirs.

Here’s some reactions from several countries that I have found so far:

Hong Kong – 60,000-150,000 held in Candle light vigil.

Taipei – Around 20 Taiwanese protesters held Candle light Vigil.

From the China Beat Article: I quote some interesting responses.

Paola Voci, New Zealand

Here in Dunedin, 4 June is a day like all others.

Because today was my last lecture, I decided that at least I had to check how many of my students knew about what happened 20 years ago (of course many students were not even born then!). To my relief, only a couple had no idea about what 4 June and the Tiananmen Square protest meant. Most had some sort of knowledge that “a protest took place and people died”. We took some time in class to just go over some of the basic facts, some of the issues and the relevance that they still have in today’s China. That was my very small contribution to keep the memory of this tragic event alive and stimulate some discussion on its significance…

Chinese students associations on campus (either from mainland or Taiwan) do not seem to have organized anything to commemorate the event. At least nothing visible. But, the day is not over yet…

Since I came to live here, I felt that for NZ, China has a rather strange proximity and remoteness. Yet, I was expecting a little more discussion about China in the media today…to match at least some of the interest that the Olympics were able to inspire. But, at least so far, it seems as though, even without any CCP intervention, June 4 has been forgotten in NZ.

Tom Pellman, Lima (Peru)

Peru’s leading newspaper El Comercio printed a brief dispatch from its Beijing correspondent Patricia Castro describing this year’s measures by Beijing to pre-empt protests on Tiananmen. Castro’s piece mentions the government’s banning this year of then-student leader Wu’er Kaixi (exiled to Taiwan after 1989) from re-entering the mainland ahead of the anniversary. Other dissidents and activists in Beijing were also forced to leave the capital, the newspaper reports.

Aside from minor coverage in El Comercio, Peru.com, from Peru’s blogosphere, adds a report on Beijing’s efforts to censor popular websites like hotmail and twitter in addition to controling the capitol’s main square. Interestingly, in a city with more than one hundred years of Chinese immigration and tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants living in Lima, there has been less attention paid to the Tiananment anniversary than might be expected.

John Ruwitch, Hanoi (Vietnam)

Six-four didn’t make its way into the official Vietnamese media, of course, but reports about it on CNN, which is widely available in Hanoi, were not censored. When I told a Vietnamese friend I found that mildly surprising, given the somewhat similar positions that the Chinese and Vietnamese Communist Parties find themselves in, plus their much-trumpeted friendship, she laughed and said: “But we hate the Chinese”. Long history there, obviously.

I did not scour the VN blogosphere for info on six-four. I did notice, however, that a seasoned journalist/blogger called Huy Duc wrote a blog quoting from the newly published memoirs of one deposed and deceased CCP gen-sec whose name in Vietnamese is “Trieu Tu Duong”. Huy Duc discusses how DXP ultimately sided with Li Peng, leading to the crackdown, and comments: “There are men like Li Peng everywhere, but only in places where the fate of a nation lies in the hands of a few individuals could could a network of people be ground up by tanks like that.” At the end of the piece, the author concludes: “The aspirations of a people can never be crushed with tanks and bullets.” I thought that was fairly strong stuff coming from inside a country where the leadership, again, is engaged in a juggling act similar to that of its giant neighbour and freedom of speech is limited. Then again, the longer I’m in Vietnam, the more I wonder if the differences between the two out number the similarities.

China Beat have more responses from Singapore, Tokyo Japan, India and Italy. But I chose to ignore them because they got consensus from the Media or from the dissidents instead.

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12 Responses to “6/4 and Zhao Ziyang’s Chinese’ reactions around the World…”

  1. pug_ster Says:

    Given the history with China and Taiwan, I would’ve thought that there would be large demonstrations but only 20 protesters is kind of measly. Even here in the states, I don’t see the kind of activity of large scale protest that is remotely close to what you see in Hong Kong.


    I went to a bookstore last week and there’s certainly interest to Zhao Ziyang’s book, but I don’t hear much response. The last time that the Chinese has that much grass roots response to something was the 5/12 earthquake.

  2. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Most People don’t read books nowadays, especially not in Western Democracies, where most people “collect” books as ornaments on shelves.

    Blame it on “free media” again, where publishing is more about MONEY than the spreading of information. Bill O’Reiley has a best seller. But I doubt most people actually read it.

    TRUTH is, Good ideas never die. People will find ways to keep them alive. Confucius’ thoughts were not written in the beginning, his students and descendants compiled them much later. Sun Tzu’s Art of War was oral, until Sun Bin compiled them almost 200 years later.

    Tiananmen, would not be forgotten, but it would not be remembered for its idealism, but for its stupidity.

    Chinese people have a great historical tradition of passing knowledge orally. And really, what’s the deaths of 6/4 or its idealogies compared to the horrors and idealogies of Civil War and Cultural Revolution?

    Yes, History is written by he who had the bigger guns, but ONLY because the Bigger guns became a legend, and the smaller guns were not worth remembering.

  3. miaka9383 Says:

    All I want to know is…
    1. Why is Zhao Ziyang’s book being banned in China? It may offer a different POV to the dissidents or even to the government.
    2. Why are you ignoring the comments only basing on your assumptions that it is from media and dissidents? and assuming these people don’t have a mind of their own?
    3. Why are students not aware of 6/4 which is a big event in China?

    With these questions asked.. all I want to say is that 6/4 is definitely a tragedy. But without an official investigation from the Chinese government, the truth will never come out and it will only be “he said” “she said” rumors.

    P.S I have seen a lot of personal comments online (not just on here) about soldiers being attacked and the whole movement is infiltrated by the FBI, I definitely would like to see where they get those ideas from

  4. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I would argue that the book should be banned on the basis of Trademark violation and defamation.

    There is no traceability of the material to Zhao except for what Bao said. And Bao admitted that Zhao’s family knew nothing about the book or the tapes.

    False attribution to celebrities is False representation of origin and has anti-competitive in effect.

    Newly reformed Chinese Anti-Monopoly laws would clearly ban sale of all products that have possible misleading attributions to source and origins, and that includes books of this nature.

  5. pug_ster Says:

    @R4000 #2

    I would disagree on Zhao Ziyang’s book not gaining interest as it was on #12 on Amazon’s best seller list. I also heard that this book sold pretty well in Hong Kong. Personally, I just don’t have the attention span to read the whole book and I would rather just get the gist by reading the cliff notes.

    @Miaka9383 #3

    1) I think there’s a thread on this already about this. I would like to discuss what would the reactions be from the Overseas Chinese who watch the more ‘uncensored’ version of the news.
    2) The Media and the dissidents in their country might not represent the voice of the Overseas Chinese. So that’s the question that I would like everybody’s opinion on.
    3) see #1

  6. raventhorn4000 Says:


    As I said, most people “collect” books, they don’t necessarily read them. Being #12 hardly points to anything. I don’t think many people read Bill O’Reiley’s book, even though 1 at least became a best seller.

  7. Shane9219 Says:

    @miaka9383 #3

    Under Eastern cultures like Chinese, we put more emphasis on emotion than pure reasoning. This is especially true on iconic events or figures like 6-4 and Zhao. When things involved are perceived as a positive icon, we tend to openly discuss and celebrate a lot, while keep silence on those negative ones.

    I am sure there will be gradual open discussion about the facts inside China once emotion becomes tame, international/domestic politics on this event gets desensitized. So far, dissents and western intellectuals and governments intend to use this event to put pressure on China to switch its system. That is too much.

  8. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Emotional response is the hallmark of a “De-Mob-cracy”.

    If the US responded to the mere influx of Chinese immigrants by enacting a “Chinese Exclusion Act”, hardly surprising that they would again resort to rumors and innuendos to yet another unknown.

  9. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Canada had its own version of Chinese Exclusion Act, as well as “head tax” levied on Chinese immigrants, a tax entirely discriminating against a particular race.

    Now considering how irrational these laws were, any clue why they were passed in the first place by the enlightened “de-mob-crazy”??

    The MOB is rarely concerned about knowing all the facts or the people.

    They simply move like a swarm of locusts, for fear or for food.

    So I would not be so hasty as to characterize Eastern cultures as having emphasis on “emotions”. US and Canadians are no less emotional.

    Indeed, they are running on emotions on 6/4.

  10. pug_ster Says:


    There’s nothing wrong with democracy, as some of the best democracies are in Finland and Sweden. The democratic government is only as good as the people who are governing it. Chinese has been marginalized before, but some countries has sort of make amends with them like Canada and Australia. But the Chinese shouldn’t hold grievances against them, but rather hope that they won’t repeat it.

  11. Charles Liu Says:

    You know, I can’t remember the last time I saw any significant demonstration or rememberance for 1) military crack down against the Bonus Marcher, or 2) Shooting of Kent State student protesters, in US.

  12. raventhorn4000 Says:


    Nothing wrong with a lot of things, doesn’t mean they are suited for all occasions.

    I don’t hold grievances against them. I merely question the integrity of the systems.

    I did hold grievances, I would be holding anti-Western protests at every diplomatic visits and jumping over embassy fences.

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