The collective memory of Tiananmen

Asia Times has published two articles about the lasting effect of the Tiananmen Square protests on Chinese society and politics. The first, It’s the Money, not Tiananmen that Counts, argues that the lingering memory of the 1989 crackdown continues to underlie discussions of economic development and political reform in China today: “While both the Chinese government and international business prefer to focus on stability and development, the issue of Tiananmen Square – literally heaven’s gate – and all that it represents in terms of political reform continues to haunt China. “

The second article, From ‘Massacre’ to ‘Event’, discusses the government’s attempts to erase the tragic events of 1989 from the national memory, in an effort to rewrite history and therefore their own legacy: “The numerals six and four, when placed together, become taboo – June, the sixth month, and four, the day of the violence. Enter these key words or numerals into an Internet search engine and a blank page will turn up, and a blank page is exactly what the government wants the collective memory to be of June 4, 1989. “

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