How China Rewrote Tiananmen History

Recalling Tiananmen 20 years later
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2009 2:59 PM CDT
How China Rewrote Tiananmen History
Demonstrators light candles and burn paper money during a candlelight vigil outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, June 3, 1999, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.   (Getty Images)

The Tiananmen Square massacre isn’t something the Chinese government wants the world to remember, and it's doing a good job keeping the matter quiet, writes Terrence Cheng in the Chronicle of Higher Education. In China, “those who dare to speak about it are swiftly silenced,” he writes. “The fading concern over Tiananmen, in China and around the world, has devolved into indifference in the face of economic and other priorities.”

Instead, the world sees an image of China pushed in events like the Olympic opening ceremony—a spectacle that proved the government had won its 20-year public-relations battle. “This new face is an illusion meant to replace the image of one man standing down a line of tanks,” Cheng writes. And even the Olympic event was manipulated, with digitally enhanced fireworks and fake singing. “With the Chinese government, there is always something more than meets the eye.”
(More China stories.)

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