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United Daily News: Banning commemorations does not heal wound
Central News Agency
2014-06-03 11:13 AM
Tomorrow will be the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China. The violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators June 4, 1989 left a deep scar on the collective memory of the Chinese people. Although a scab has covered the wound, it is still sore and inflamed. The bloodshed also left a stain that the Communist Party of China is pretending not to see and is forcing people to forget. Over the last 25 years, China has transformed into the world's biggest factory and second-largest economy and has undergone three leadership changes -- from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao and now Xi Jinping. Also during that period, Hong Kong and Macau were returned to Chinese rule, while cross-Taiwan Strait relations began to move toward peace and stability. All these developments mean that the Chinese government has more leeway to deal with the legacy of the Tiananmen Square incident. And because the current Chinese leader is not stained with the blood of the massacre, it is possible for him to adopt a broader view and clean the wound. It is certainly no easy task to heal such a big wound. However, if Beijing can gradually allow people to commemorate and discuss the Tiananmen Square incident, if the government begins to make remedial efforts, let the exiles return home to visit their relatives and speed up the release of jailed dissidents, it will help the healing process and lessen international criticism. The ban on commemoration or discussion of the incident and the surveillance of dissidents do not match China's image as a big emerging power. Beijing must recognize that the Tiananmen Square incident is a tragedy for the whole of China and all ethnic Chinese and will continue to hamper China's development. Unless the encumbrance is eased gradually through commemorations and discussions by the people, China will not be able to face the world with confidence. (Editorial abstract -- June 3, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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