Village shooting ‘no Tiananmen’ – Kristine Kwok

From the South China Morning Post, via Asia Media:

Beijing yesterday rejected any attempt at associating the police shooting of villagers in Guangdong last week with the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy students.

The rejection came as activists, intellectuals and the international media drew parallels between the use of force to quell the riot, triggered by land seizures in the village of Dongzhou, Shanwei , and the violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters 16 years ago in central Beijing.

The local government has put the death toll from last week’s riot at three, but villagers fear the real figure could be as high as 20 because many villagers are still missing. If the latter figure is confirmed, the Dongzhou riot would be the deadliest assault by mainland security forces on civilians since the 1989 crackdown, in which hundreds or thousands are believed to have been killed.

In a regular briefing in Beijing yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the two incidents were not comparable as no conclusion had been reached about the Dongzhou violence.

“Conclusions have been reached on the 1989 incidents, but no conclusion has been drawn on this event. How can we know if they are the same type of incident?” he asked.

December 14, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Categories: Politics