Tiananmen Square Protest and Put-Down, 25 Years Later

June 4th, 2014
in Op Ed

Written by

Twenty-five years ago today, the student-led pro-democracy protest in Tiananmen Square was brutally put-down by the soldiers. Was it a big event at the time? Yes! Should it be a big deal today? Yes, but perhaps not for the reason you may think ...

Follow up:

Here are my three points about the reality today:

  1. Most Chinese have dismissed the event that occurred 25 years ago today.
  2. Any related stories are banned in China's official media.
  3. Some Western politicians and media outlets continue to use this event "negatively" against China, even to the point of being provocative (U.S. Politicians Want to Name a Street After Liu Xiaobo, China Not Pleased).

I have already published about this event several times (e.g. Tiananmen Square and It's June 4, Again). This post will add a new dimension: the event fundamentally changed the world, with a greater impact than the West has so far acknowledged. Three points:

  1. The collapse of the Soviet Union
  2. The collapse of the Berlin Wall
  3. The collapse of communism in the Eastern Bloc.

Next, let me elaborate on each.

1. The collapse of the Soviet Union

The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was actually visiting China at the height of the protest (Gorby visits China, but protests continue), as shown below.

After seeing the brutal put-down on June 4, 1989 and the world's reaction to it, Mr. Gorbachev probably realized it was not a good idea to deal with similar protests by using deadly force. But he surely was unaware of any better way, as were the other leaders in the Eastern Bloc.

More broadly, Mr. Gorbachev simply failed to match with China's Deng in greatness, resulting in the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. For more, read: Mikhail Gorbachev vs. Deng Xiaoping.

2. The collapse of the Berlin Wall

The protest in China spread like a wide fire to East Germany, resulting in the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Some terrible tragedies can have unforeseen, good consequences!

3. The collapse of communism in the Eastern Bloc

The protest in China also spread like a wide fire throughout the Eastern Bloc, beyond the Berlin Wall, with each government at a loss as to how to handle it, other than not to use deadly force as was done in China. As a result, the communist governments in the Eastern Bloc just collapsed one after another, with the Romanian Revolution and the execution of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife (pictured below) on December 25, 1989 being an extreme example.

4. Discussion

Time is always the best judge for a significant event like the put-down of the student-led pro-democracy protest in China on June 4, 1989. Twenty-five years later, we all can reach our own conclusions. Here is mine in two points:

  1. The put-down was ultimately a good thing for China, overall. For more, read: America: What's Really Going On in China?
  2. It's time for the world to acknowledge the significance of this event with respect to the collapse of communism in the Eastern Bloc. Communism is a failed human doctrine and is, therefore, hopelessly doomed. However, what happened at Tiananmen Square 25 years ago today undoubtedly served as a catalyst for the demise of communism in the Eastern Bloc.

Birds fly; Dogs bark; Students protest!

The student-led pro-democracy protest in China in 1989 was arguably the largest ever in human history. While it may still be debatable whether there was a better way for the Chinese government to resolve it without using deadly force on June 4, 1989, it's not debatable that it was one of the most impactful protests and put-downs in human history.

Fortunately for China, the Chinese miracle was only briefly disrupted by the event. A little more than one decade later, China became the second largest economy on earth. Now, China is well on her way to becoming the largest economy by 2030, if not sooner.

Unfortunately for the Eastern Bloc, democracy has yet to demonstrate any miracle for the economies over there, resulting in some disasters (e.g. Ukraine). What they need after communism was more capitalism, not democracy! For more, read: A Pseudo Conversation between President Obama and Ukraine PM and Top 10 American Misconceptions about Russia.

5. Closing

In hindsight, few, if any, of the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989 knew what they were doing, as they understood neither China nor democracy! Yes, China was already well underway in its miracle. No, democracy is no good - It has been a proven failure in human history, without a single example of lasting success over the past 2,000 years! For more, read: We, the Intelligent People of the United States ...

In my opinion, nobody under 21 should be allowed to vote, which would have ruled out most of the students, anywhere in the world! Why 21 or even older? You must vote with your brain, not just your heart!

For more, read my book: "Saving America, Chinese Style".

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