World 30 Years After Tiananmen, a Chinese Military Insider Warns: Never Forget

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    BEIJING — For three decades, Jiang Lin kept quiet about the carnage she had seen on the night when the Chinese Army rolled through Beijing to crush student protests in Tiananmen Square. But the memories tormented her — of soldiers firing into crowds in the dark, bodies slumped in pools of blood and the thud of clubs when troops bludgeoned her to the ground near the square.

    Ms. Jiang was a lieutenant in the People’s Liberation Army back then, with a firsthand view of both the massacre and a failed attempt by senior commanders to dissuade China’s leaders from using military force to crush the pro-democracy protests. Afterward, as the authorities sent protesters to prison and wiped out memories of the killing, she said nothing, but her conscience ate at her.

    Now, in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown, Ms. Jiang, 66, has decided for the first time to tell her story. She said she felt compelled to call for a public reckoning because generations of Chinese Communist Party leaders, including President Xi Jinping, have expressed no remorse for the violence. Ms. Jiang left China this week.

    “The pain has eaten at me for 30 years,” she said in an interview in Beijing. “Everyone who took part must speak up about what they know happened. That’s our duty to the dead, the survivors and the children of the future.”

    Ms. Jiang’s account has a wider significance: She sheds new light on how military commanders tried to resist orders to use armed force to clear protesters from the square they had taken over for seven weeks, captivating the world.

    The students’ impassioned idealism, hunger strikes, rebukes of officials and grandiose gestures like building a “Goddess of Democracy” on the square drew an outpouring of public sympathy and left leaders divided on how to respond.

    Read more here. (New York Times)
     

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