China rethinking 1989 crackdown (AP)

“But few signs emerge of major attitude change

BEIJING — For new Chinese leaders who promise to listen more to ordinary people, it’s a request they don’t want to hear: to declare that their political forefathers were wrong to crush the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

The government faces new prodding this month with the disclosure of a letter by an army surgeon and party member — a hero of last year’s SARS outbreak — calling for them to pronounce the student-led protests a “patriotic movement.”

But leaders who proclaim their readiness to rethink economic and social policies show no sign of willingness to reverse the official ruling that the nonviolent protests were an anti-government riot.

Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking at a rare news conference Sunday, repeated the government’s argument that its actions in 1989 preserved the foundation for the past decade’s stunning economic growth. ”

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