Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 04, 2019

Tian An Men Square - What Really Happened (Updated)

Since 1989 the western media write anniversary pieces on the June 4 removal of protesters from the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The view seems always quite one sided and stereotyped with a brutal military that suppresses peaceful protests.

That is not the full picture. Thanks to Wikileaks we have a few situation reports from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing at that time. They describe a different scene than the one western media paint to this day.

Ten thousands of people, mostly students, occupied the square for six weeks. They protested over the political and personal consequences of Mao's chaotic Cultural Revolution which had upset the whole country. The liberalization and changeover to a more capitalist model under Deng Xiopings had yet to show its success and was fought by the hardliners in the Communist Party.

The more liberal side of the government negotiated with the protesters but no agreement was found. The hardliners in the party pressed for the protest removal. When the government finally tried to move the protesters out of the very prominent square they resisted.

On June 3 the government moved troops towards the city center of Beijing. But the military convoys were held up. Some came under attack. The U.S. embassy reported that soldiers were taken as hostages:


There are some gruesome pictures of the government side casualties of these events.

Another cable from June 3 notes:


In the early morning of June 4 the military finally reached the city center and tried to push the crowd out of Tiananmen Square:


The soldiers responded as all soldiers do when they see that their comrades get barbecued:


Most of the violence was not in the square, which was already quite empty at that time, but in the streets around it. The soldiers tried to push the crowd away without using their weapons:


With the Square finally cleared the student protest movement ebbed away.

Update (June 5)

Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, was there on the ground. He just published his eyewitness account written down at that time.

Western secret services smuggled some 800 of the leaders of their failed 'color revolution' out of the country, reported the Financial Times:

Many went first to France, but most travelled on to the US for scholarships at Ivy League universities.

The extraction missions, aided by MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA, according to many accounts, had scrambler devices, infrared signallers, night-vision goggles and weapons.


/End of Update

It is unclear how many people died during the incident. The numbers vary between dozens to several hundred. There is no evidence that the higher numbers are correct. It also not known how many of the casualties were soldiers, or how many were violent protesters or innocent bystanders.

The New York Times uses the 30th anniversary of the June 4 incidents to again promote a scene that is interpreted as successful civil resistance.

He has become a global symbol of freedom and defiance, immortalized in photos, television shows, posters and T-shirts.

But three decades after the Chinese Army crushed demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square, “Tank Man” — the person who boldly confronted a convoy of tanks barreling down a Beijing avenue — is as much a mystery as ever.

But was the man really some hero? It is not known what the the man really wanted or if he was even part of the protests:

According to the man who took the photo, AP photographer Jeff Widener, the photo dates from June 5 the day after the Tiananmen Square incident. The tanks were headed away from, and not towards, the Square. They were blocked not by a student but by a man with a shopping bag crossing the street who had chosen to play chicken with the departing tanks. The lead tank had gone out its way to avoid causing him injury.

The longer video of the tank hold up (turn off the ghastly music) shows that the man talked with the tank commander who makes no attempt to force him away. The scene ends after two minutes when some civilian passersby finally tell the man to move along. The NYT also writes:

But more recently, the government has worked to eliminate the memory of Tank Man, censoring images of him online and punishing those who have evoked him.
As a result of the government’s campaign, many people in China, especially younger Chinese, do not recognize his image.

To which Carl Zha, who currently travels in China and speaks the language, responds:

Carl Zha @CarlZha - 15:23 utc - 4 Jun 2019

For the record, Everyone in China know about what happened on June 4th, 1989. Chinese gov remind them every year by cranking up censorship to 11 around anniversary. Idk Western reporters who claim people in China don’t know are just esp stupid/clueless or deliberately misleading

In fact that applies to China reporting in general. I just don’t know whether Western China reporters are that stupid/clueless or deliberately misleading. I used to think people can’t be that stupid but I am constantly surprised...


Carl Zha @CarlZha - 15:42 utc - 4 Jun 2019

This Image was shared in one of the Wechat group I was in today. Yes, everyone understood the reference


Carl recommends the two part movie The Gate To Heavenly Peace (vid) as the best documentary of the Tiananmen Square protests. It explores the political and social background of the incident and includes many original voices and scenes.

Posted by b on June 4, 2019 at 19:00 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Here is an interesting video showing how China is preparing its population for war:

Thirty years after Tiananmen, China's leadership is still using the media to control its narrative.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Jun 4 2019 19:04 utc | 1

@Sally Snyder

No, you misunderstood the video. It was basically a recruitment video showing the sacrifices of Chinese soldiers who leave behind their families to protect the people from war. Hence, peace behind them, war (as in hegemonic aggression from the Americans) in front of them.

It is a far cry from the pro-war Call of Duty-type "turkey-shoot Hajjis" recruitment videos from the Pentagon.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 4 2019 19:20 utc | 2

Here's Minqi Li -- a student of the "right" (liberal) at the time ["How did I arrive at my current intellectual position? I belong to the “1989 generation.” But unlike the rest of the 1989 generation, I made the unusual intellectual and political trajectory from the Right to the Left, and from being a neoliberal “democrat” to a revolutionary Marxist"] -- about 1989.

It is in the preface of his book "The Rise of China", which I don't recommend as a theoretical book. It doesn't affect his testimony though:

The 1980s was a decade of political and intellectual excitement in China. Despite some half-hearted official restrictions, large sections of the Chinese intelligentsia were politically active and were able to push for successive waves of the so-called “emancipation of ideas” (jiefang sixiang). The intellectual critique of the already existing Chinese socialism at first took place largely within a Marxist discourse. Dissident intellectuals called for more democracy without questioning the legitimacy of the Chinese Revolution or the economic institutions of socialism.
After 1985, however, economic reform moved increasingly in the direction of the free market. Corruption increased and many among the bureaucratic elites became the earliest big capitalists. Meanwhile, among the intellectuals, there was a sharp turn to the right. The earlier, Maoist phase of Chinese socialism was increasingly seen as a period of political oppression and economic failure. Chinese socialism was supposed to have “failed,” as it lost the economic growth race to places such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Many regarded Mao Zedong himself as an ignorant, backward Chinese peasant who turned into a cruel, power-hungry despot who had been responsible for the killing of tens of millions. (This perception of Mao is by no means a new one, we knew it back in the 1980s.) The politically active intellectuals no longer borrowed discourse from Marxism. Instead, western classical liberalism and neoliberal economics, as represented by Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, had become the new, fashionable ideology.
As the student demonstrations grew, workers in Beijing began to pour onto the streets in support of the students, who were, of course, delighted. However, being an economics student, I could not help experiencing a deep sense of irony. On the one hand, these workers were the people that we considered to be passive, obedient, ignorant, lazy, and stupid. Yet now they were coming out to support us. On the other hand, just weeks before, we were enthusiastically advocating “reform” programs that would shut down all state factories and leave the workers unemployed. I asked myself: do these workers really know who they are supporting?
Unfortunately, the workers did not really know. In the 1980s, in terms of material living standards, the Chinese working class remained relatively well-off. There were nevertheless growing resentments on the part of the workers as the program of economic reform took a capitalist turn. Managers were given increasing power to impose capitalist-style labor disciplines (such as Taylorist “scientific management”) on the workers. The reintroduction of “material incentives” had paved the way for growing income inequality and managerial corruption.
By mid-May 1989, the student movement became rapidly radicalized, and liberal intellectuals and student leaders lost control of events. During the “hunger strike” at Tiananmen Square, millions of workers came out to support the students. This developed into a near-revolutionary situation and a political showdown between the government and the student movement was all but inevitable. The liberal intellectuals and student leaders were confronted with a strategic decision. They could organize a general retreat, calling off the demonstrations, though this strategy would certainly be demoralizing. The student leaders would probably be expelled from the universities and some liberal intellectuals might lose their jobs. But more negative, bloody consequences would be avoided.
Alternatively, the liberal intellectuals and the student leaders could strike for victory. They could build upon the existing political momentum, mobilize popular support, and take steps to seize political power. If they adopted this tactic, it was difficult to say if they would succeed but there was certainly a good chance. The Communist Party’s leadership was divided. Many army commanders’ and provincial governments’ loyalty to the central government was in question. The student movement had the support of the great majority of urban residents throughout the country. To pursue this option, however, the liberal intellectuals and students had to be willing and able to mobilize the full support of the urban working class. This was a route that the Chinese liberal intellectuals simply would not consider.
So what they did was … nothing. The government did not wait long to act. While the students themselves peacefully left Tiananmen Square, thousands of workers died in Beijing’s streets defending them.

Posted by: vk | Jun 4 2019 19:21 utc | 3

On the open thread I speculated about the Chinese government going out of its way to demonstrate violent resistance was futile. Just ran into a new story with the same theme.

30 years after Tiananmen

The United States said Monday it had lost hope for human rights progress in China 30 years after the crackdown on Tiananmen Square as Beijing, in rare official comments on the bloodshed, insisted it had "immunized" itself against turmoil.

Naturally I don't know enough to vouch for the link, but it does speak of how the government still suppresses coverage of that 30-year ago event.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 4 2019 19:21 utc | 4

I always though that this image was more compelling, but for some reason it doesn't seem to have got much traction in the world's media.

Posted by: Ross | Jun 4 2019 19:28 utc | 5

Anyways, back to the topic. The battle was not between the students and soldiers, but between the workers who supported the students and the soldiers.

The workers were the ones who created barricades on the roads leading to the square, lynched and burned the unarmed soldiers sent to disarm them, and fought pitched battles with the soldiers on the way to the square. Once the tanks and infantry broke through the barricades to reach the square, all the students were allowed to walk out of the square by forming a giant human chain holding their hands. The workers, however, continued to battle the soldiers throughout the city all night long. There was no "massacre in the square." That part is completely fake-news. The deaths happened in battles all over the city.

Also, the man who was able to persuade the workers and students to peacefully go home in Shanghai was later rewarded by being named the new Chinese president. His name was Jiang Zemin.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 4 2019 19:30 utc | 6

@Zachary Smith

No. If there was a peaceful solution, the government would have pursued it. That was the reason why the man who accomplished that task in the municipality of Shanghai was named the new president by Deng Xiaoping. Here was a man who could work magic.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 4 2019 19:40 utc | 7

And yet the US/UK abusive (all but lethal) treatment of the Occupy Movement encampments is accepted as "necessary". But the Chinese gov't reaction to a "student" movement is big news 30 years on, despite probably being fomented by the same backroom US/Zionist Deep Staters as the various colour/umbrella protests in Hong Kong. France has been beating and tear-gassing Gilets Jaunes for months, but that's OK. Spain beat and tear gassed Catalan independence protesters, including senior citizens, but that's OK... you get my point.

The most salient point about "tank man" is that the tanks were leaving, not arriving and passers-by told him to stop being a putz and go home. Another US/Zionist MSM myth busted, right up there with babies thrown from incubators lies.

Anyone remember the Kent State massacre? 4 student protesters gunned down by US police/military... where is the US-MSM anniversary focus on that? May 4, 1970. So lets see if the 50th anniversary of that makes front-page news in the US/NATO MSM...

Posted by: A P | Jun 4 2019 19:42 utc | 8

@ Ross | Jun 4, 2019 3:28:38 PM #5

Chinese and Russian tanks are inherently evil. Those operated by the apartheid Jewish state are manned by The Most Moral Army In The World© and they are used only to suppress subhuman barbarians opposing The Only Democracy In The Middle East©.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 4 2019 19:45 utc | 9

@ Sally Snyder | Jun 4, 2019 3:04:00 PM | 1

”Here is an interesting video showing how China is preparing its population for war:
Thirty years after Tiananmen, China's leadership is still using the media to control its narrative.”

Well we can be damned proud that the good ole United States Government would never, ever even think of doing such things.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 4 2019 19:50 utc | 10

Surprising the number of people that like or prefer to believe western media version of Tiananmen Square. Our media would never tell a lie...

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 4 2019 19:53 utc | 11

@ Peter AU 1 | Jun 4, 2019 3:53:02 PM | 11

It's also interesting that no media mouthpiece seems to be able to pronounce “Tiananmen” correctly.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 4 2019 19:59 utc | 12

@Peter AU 1

That just shows you how good western propaganda is at doing its job. And one of the reasons why China censors the event so heavily.

When the Arab Spring happened in 2011, Chinese liberals on the Internet were cheering it on and clamoring for the Americans to bring their freedom B-52s to China. After the Arab Spring crashed and burned, all the Chinese liberals all of a sudden shut the hell up. Without censorship, there would be a lot more such freedom fighters that can be mobilized for color revolution, you know, because Tiananmen!

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 4 2019 20:01 utc | 13

search out 'Kate Adie', she is/was a BBC journalist who, along with her film crew were there for the protests...she has written a very long write up, along with video evidence of the atreocities which took place...

Posted by: spike | Jun 4 2019 20:17 utc | 14

I have always wondered how much US input there was to the events called Tiananmen Square. Perhaps the first of the color revolutions.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 4 2019 20:19 utc | 15

@Peter AU 1

I can't say for sure. There were genuine anger at the capitalist reforms that drove up corruption, inflation, and causing people to lose their cushy state jobs and benefits. That was one of the reasons why the workers came to brawl. Someone's gotta teach these Capitalist running dogs in the government a lesson!

How the western media was able to turn these Commies into the patron-saints of liberal democracy is a thing of marvel.

Anyways, most of the ringleaders of the student movement was whisked out of China by the CIA. They all got Ivy League college degrees, and they're basically a government-in-waiting in DC, lol. Gotta wait for those democracy B-52s, you know.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 4 2019 20:38 utc | 16

the lord of the war in power at that time rightly felt that the fate of the party and the state was at stake, and he acted accordingly.

Posted by: alain | Jun 4 2019 20:47 utc | 17

The press invariably work the same way.
Talking head guest says thousands die. The reporter neither agrees or disagrees. His conscience is clean, he has not said anything wrong, just interviewed someone.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 4 2019 20:50 utc | 18

I am very glad to know that Carma Hinton's excellent documentary The Gate of Heavenly Peace is available once again. A balanced view of the protests, with historical context going back to the student movements of the 1920s and even, I dare say I remember, echoes of the Cultural Revolution, and of the "revolutionary" posturing that was vogue then (context that escapes the usual Western narrative). The documentary was shunned by both the former student protestors and by the PRC government. I look forward to seeing it again after so many years.

She probably missed the proto-Color Revolution angle, described in William F. Engdahl's book, Manifest Destiny.

Her father William Hinton's reporting on the events of the night the square was cleared, which appeared in The Nation, was one of the few contemporary reports that didn't buy the "students massacred in the square" narrative which I was to hear repeated uncritically by the President of the college I was attending at the time at the commencement ceremony shortly afterwards. As others have indicated above, Hinton reported at the time that whatever fatalities occurred during these days would have involved workers clashing with soldiers elsewhere in the city, rather than students who had occupied the square.

Posted by: Norumbega | Jun 4 2019 20:53 utc | 19

I don't know if this is the right approach, B. In 1989 there was a rebellious mood that spread across the globe. This kind of uprising usually begins peacefully, but can then radicalize itself. This is the normal course of events. The reaction varied depending on the internal state of the government concerned. If, for example, the German government were affected by such an event, how would it react, especially after several weeks or even months? How would the U.S. government react? Asking the question means answering it.

But that is not the decisive aspect in today's situation. In 1989 the Caracazo took place in Caracas, probably 3000 people were killed. That was in February. Instead of lamenting this massacre in countless anniversary articles, the Empire is busy strangling the current Venezuelan government economically. This shows that the moral accusations against China are highly hypocritical anti-Chinese propaganda - whatever exactly happened in Beijing in 1989. The empire is in the midst of a conflict with China, so the western poodles come to rescue, all Relotius media are using their weapons of mass deception. Disgusting indeed.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 4 2019 20:57 utc | 20

thanks b... more shite and propaganda from the western msm... what was the date for the occupy wall st movement? are they sharing that annually as well? i doubt it...

@8 a p... thanks for pointing that out. it was on my mind reading this thread... here is an article from april 2019 -
We are (still) the 99 percent Occupy Wall Street was seen as a failure when it ended in 2011. But it’s helped transform the American left.

i dunno about that last line... the american left have curled up under the russia-gate affair and are quite happy to let the cia-fbi call all the shots... just how this is all that different from some type of military dictatorship evades me..

Posted by: james | Jun 4 2019 20:58 utc | 21

@20 pnyx... the exceptional empire have so many irons in the fire at present, it is hard to keep track!

what's it gonna be exceptional empire? venezuala, iran, china, russia, and etc. etc.??? jesus... we need an occupy wall st version 2..

Posted by: james | Jun 4 2019 21:00 utc | 22

Gee! I've been yammering on about China on the open thread when China has its own thread! I didn't mention the events of 30 years ago, although in retrospect I should have since they provide a good temporal reference point to China's rise. Soon afterward, the implementation of the Special Economic Zones began, but the influx of Western corporate capital didn't materialize as envisioned. Instead, what occurred was capital infusion from the vast Chinese Diaspora as I documented in my 1999 paper on the subject that coincided with what ought to be called the Second Great Leap Forward. It was only at the century's end that Western corporations began to move operations to China from the other low cost locations they'd previously chosen. Japanese corporations also jumped in and the race was on with Neoliberal economic policy fanning the flames.

IMO, the protests were instrumental in forming today's China and its future vision. There could be no room for corruption or class inequality, nor could the gap between urban advancement and rural devolution be allowed to grow further. The environmental crisis China's development was causing was spawning an internal health crisis and the state couldn't afford to have either spiral out-of-control--the West was full of examples of both along with Russia. Indeed, the West was full of examples of how NOT to proceed. Then in 2001, Putin signed his first of many agreements with China's Jiang Zemin initiating a partnership that was initially pooh-poohed by the West as inconsequential. Amazing, huh!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 4 2019 21:00 utc | 23

"I always though that this image was more compelling, but for some reason it doesn't seem to have got much traction in the world's media."

Posted by: Ross | Jun 4, 2019 3:28:38 PM | 5

No doubt because it's not of Tianmen, but of somewhere in the Middle East, at another time.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 4 2019 21:13 utc | 24

karlof1 23

Thanks for that take on China. I had not looked into that aspect, but what you say all fits.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 4 2019 21:18 utc | 25

I've always thought that China dodged a bullet. They managed to avoid the chaos and exploitation by the west that Russia had to endure.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 4 2019 21:29 utc | 26

China receiving timely criticism re: human rights currently by Pompeo Fattus Arsis of the USA and by Trudeau Light, Canadian lapdog.

Obviously, The Apartheid State of Israel and the Oded Yinon Plan for little snakes, The USA and Full Spectrum Dominance, Extraordinary Rendition and Torture, and Saudi Headchoppers of the UN Human Rights Farce are a thousand points of electric shock therapy.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Jun 4 2019 21:58 utc | 27

Interesting article and comments in off-guardian on the events 30 years ago.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 4 2019 22:21 utc | 28

Peter AU 1 @25

During the 1990s, I was fortunate to have access to sources allowing me an unfiltered look at what was happening in China, which included a few outstanding academics and eye witnesses who had spent several years living within China during that decade. The Seminar Paper I wrote began as an investigation to the Who, What, Where, How of China's economic boom, which was presumably caused by Western corporate capital but was instead financed by the vast Chinese Diaspora--from Singapore, to Taiwan, to Hawaii, to Indonesia: China is always where the heart lies even for Chinese several generations removed; most remain patriotic even when separated. Many view the current form of government as the newest in a long line of Dynasties, a view I share.

China has a bit more landmass than the USA but has over one billion more citizens to govern. Let that one basic fact molder in your mind a moment as I've done every so often over my life. IMO, there's no way that many people would remain governable within the USA, particularly given the grave disparity of wealth to poverty over most of both nation's histories. In 1960, China's population was 650 million; by 2020, China will have lifted 800 Million people out of poverty and will have almost eliminated it within its borders. That would have been unthinkable under a Capitalist economic system and was only doable using a hybrid Socialist system. While the Outlaw US Empire and its minions have spent most of the past 30 years demonizing China, the rest of the world's watched in amazement as China worked to accomplish what was thought impossible--eliminating its own poverty. The rest of the world now wants to join with China in uplifting their own peoples out of poverty to the horror of the Outlaw US Empire and its fellow Zero-sum Zombies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 4 2019 22:35 utc | 29

Why doesn't anyone mention the party? The protesters were all privileged people, I am guessing that they were mostly the children of party members - remember this is Beijing, the political capital of China - and so the disagreement can be seen as a party matter that has spilled onto the streets, spread there by privileged, entitled students who know best. First among all things in China is the desire for stability from and of the party and its government, second to that comes economic success - providing the people with what they need - and only third comes the "rights" of citizens as they would be called in the west. This was a direct threat to the stability of China and was dealt with appropriately. Like all such threats to stability when they are fanned by outsiders, the party ensures that the media inform people that similar ideas of revolution will not be tolerated as they threaten the foundation of the state. If you want to change China, you will have to rise up the ranks of the party and have that change approved by the influential leaders within the party. I am sure that this protest did not change China in any way, it was certainly an irritant because it presented the west with video footage with which it could beat China over the head for having such a bad human rights record - hence the famous tank-man picture which the west promoted as the little people against the state. There were no "little" people in this protest, they were all privileged, yet many in the west retain this image as representing the true battle in China.

Posted by: aspnaz | Jun 4 2019 22:45 utc | 30

@ karlof1 29

Actually, in the 90s more than 70% of China's FDI came from Hong Kong. 15% came from Taiwan. The rest came from the rest of the diaspora. So the China miracle was initially a Hong Kong affair.

Which was kind of funny, because as 1997 approached, the middle class ran for the west, while the tycoons plowed their money into China and became obscenely wealthy at the same time. So now Hong Kong is really polarized between the super-pro-China tycoons who run the place, and the proles who fly the colonial flag. The proles are the ones who commemorate annually the "Tienanmen Square Massacre" and clamor about "universal suffrage", which they never got from the British.

Now if only the western media can recreate this success on the mainland. Cue the B-52s!

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 4 2019 22:58 utc | 31

'They protested over the political and personal consequences of Mao's chaotic Cultural Revolution which had upset the whole country. '?

Hardly! Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution to emancipate 400,000,000 voiceless peasants whose social status had not changed in 3,000 years and was still unchanged 16 years after the Communists took power. He was dismayed by the rising tendency among the Communist Party official ranks to live a life of privileges once the Communist Party came to power in 1949. As soon as the Communist Party came to power, Chairman Mao launched numerous political campaigns to fight tendencies toward official corruption within the Communist Party. He ordered the execution of high officials like Zhang Zishan and Liu Qingshan, in order to send a signal to his former comrades. But these political campaigns and executions were not effective enough in fighting the tendency toward official corruption.

The Cultural Revolution succeeded in emancipating those 400,000,000 voiceless peasants and was the only popular revolution of the 1960s to succeed in all its goals–even in growing the economy.
Dec 31, 1966 4.29 trillion
Dec 31, 1976 5.73 trillion
Growth = 33.6%

1966 188.87
1976 298.86
Growth = 58%

Said famous plant geneticist and father of the Green Revolution, Sterling Wortman[1], who led a visiting American delegation, “The rice crop is really first rate. There was just field after field that was as good as anything you can see. They’re all being brought up to the level of skills of the best people. They all share the available inputs.” American agronomist and Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug added, “You had to look hard to find a bad field. Everything was green and nice everywhere we traveled. I felt the progress had been much more remarkable than I expected.”

[1] New York Times, September 24, 1974

Posted by: Godfree Roberts | Jun 4 2019 23:02 utc | 32

Cycloben @31--

Silly me! I left Hong Kong off my roster, but it was part of the diaspora and was included in my paper. The most recent stats I had to use were 1997's, but the initial beginnings were from smaller players outside the wealth centers.

The Chinese Politburo in order to get the Outlaw US Empire's trade negotiators to understand their position have gone through the effort to publish a White Paper in Word doc format. The Chinese are very forceful in making their case, often using US-generated facts and figures. Perhaps the strongest part of China's argument is within the section, "The trade war has not 'made America great again,'" although the section on "back-tracking," double-dealing and prevarication describes General Butler-type work. That section leads to the following conclusion: "The US government should bear the sole and entire responsibility for this severe setback to the China-US economic and trade consultations."

Is the Outlaw US Empire Agreement Capable or not as the Russians have determined? What follows is the White Paper's Conclusion. IMO, the Zero-sum Zombies will never agree to Win-Win as it's not within their nature.

"Cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US and win-win is the only path to a better future. As to where the China-US economic and trade consultations are heading, China is looking forward, not backward. Disputes and conflicts on the trade and economic front, at the end of the day, need to be solved through dialogue and consultation. Striking a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement serves the interests of China and the US and meets the expectations of the world. It is hoped that the US can pull in the same direction with China and, in a spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, manage economic and trade differences, strengthen trade and economic cooperation, and jointly advance China-US relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability for the well-being of both nations and the world." [My Emphasis]

Unfortunately, Outlaw US Empire doctrine doesn't allow for any of the bolded text's outcomes. Rather, China must always remain subordinate to the Empire; the Empire can accept no peers in any realm. Only a vast alteration in the Current Oligarchy's doctrine will allow for anything of mutual benefit to occur as its mantra remains Zero-sum. Perhaps this dispute will cause a separation of Oligarchic factions as other forces are also pulling on them.

So, on to St. Petersburg for SPIEF 2019 held June 6-8 where Xi is to be accorded special guest status and is expected to bring 30 important documents for him and Putin to sign.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 4 2019 23:47 utc | 33

From yesterday:

"World should unite against US global economic terrorism."

Just an opinion piece or an expression of China's Politburo? The message is aimed at nations attending the upcoming G-20 in Osaka, asking them to combine forces to keep the world from being "held hostage by US economic terrorism."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 5 2019 0:38 utc | 34

I thought I'd go check with Jeff Brown to get his take on Tiananmen. I've spoken about him before, especially his book called, China is Communist, Dammit!, which contains much fact and context and perspective for those who would like to know the true story of China.

His journey was just like all of ours: initially believing all the lies we've been told growing up in the west, even to the extent of seeing a foreign nation in terms of that narrative. And then the slog of thousands of hours of wading through the great river of narrative to land the various truths onto the shore. And then the seeing truly, without any narrative, simply warm familiarity. He lives and teaches in China now. His perspective is about what mine would be if I had lived his path, and about what most of yours would, I would guess.

He has a posting up today at his website, China Rising, probably largely re-purposed from earlier posts, because the same thing happens in the western culture each year:

The ritualistic, annual Western flogging of the Chinese people takes place today.

On the off-chance that the link goes through, let me really push my luck by quoting a fairly long piece, the first 4 paragraphs of Brown's story. I agree with this view. It matches everything I have learned about China, its government, its people, and the relationship between the government and its people, and between the people and their government.

I regard the following excerpt as the truth:

The ritualistic, annual Western flogging of the Chinese people takes place today, June 4th. That day, in 1989, after the government let Tiananmen Square, the world’s fourth largest public plaza, be peacefully occupied by hundreds of thousands of citizens for over five weeks, the protest’s CIA-managed leaders, in a last ditch effort to achieve their goals, turned violent. Up until that night, 30,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had been stationed in and around Tiananmen Square, unarmed, or at the most, with billy clubs.

The whole operation was financed, organized, managed and supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in cahoots with other Western embassies and their psyops teams, with the obvious goal of overthrowing the Communist Party of China (CPC). After the premier of China, Li Peng – imagine that – the second most powerful person in China, met with the protest leaders on national TV and radio, and was openly insulted by them, the CIA upped the ante to violence and killing, by providing their agents with gasoline for Molotov cocktails and AK-47s, to murder unarmed PLA soldiers. In 1989 Beijing, gasoline was only available in embassies, for government ministries and for the handful of the public who owned cars, petrol was strictly controlled with ration cards.

On that night of June 4th, while machine guns could be heard outside being fired on defenseless PLA soldiers, then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping gave a somber, but resolute and inspiring speech (whose text can still be found in Chinese on the web). It was given to his fellow Politburo members. He said he did not blame the protestors at all. They all understood these (mostly) kids were being used by the United States to overthrow China’s way of life, and replace it with a puppet, capitalist government, to restart China’s century of humiliation, 1839-1949. He talked about how Baba Beijing had patiently and peacefully waited for five long, sweltering weeks, for the protest to wear itself out. The CPC’s leaders had gone out to the protestors, to talk and hear their complaints and were invited on the national stage, where they were insulted. Deng said the protestors’ complaints were valid, which concerned spiking inflation, corruption and market reforms being pushed too fast (“democracy” was entirely a CIA construct). Now, these misguided kids were being turned into killers by their American handlers, murdering their PLA brethren, and that was the last straw (Deng and many of his colleagues were former soldiers and revolutionaries).

In so many words, Deng said, either we let Uncle Sam turn China into another colonial state, or we do what we have to do to maintain stability, harmony and keep the communist revolution on its current trajectory. He asked for a show of hands. The vote was unanimous. It was a point in time, an unforgettable speech and a collective vote that changed world history, for the better, much better.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 5 2019 0:58 utc | 35

@ Lochearn | Jun 4, 2019 6:21:21 PM #28

That off-guardian story was so good that when it struck an off-note that really stood out.

According to the Credit Suisse yearly analysis, China’s mean wealth per adult was $47,810 in 2018.

Headlines: China’s Racing to the Top in Income Inequality
China's dirty little secret: its growing wealth gap
China income inequality among world's worst

For reasons of his own the author chose not to use the much more relevant and revealing "median", or even the "mode" for his statistics.

...and became a Western-style democracy...

That one really irked me until I realized it was technically accurate. They have massive elections in China, but it's the Party which picks the candidates, and Independents can find themselves in big trouble. In the US Party R promotes Corporate ass-kissing, warmongering, Israel-coddling, and pretends to hate abortion while Party D advocates Corporate ass-kissing, warmongering, Israel-coddling, and pretends to love abortion. Just as in China, we get to exercise our Democratic Rights and choose between the two of them.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 5 2019 1:50 utc | 36

I don't know if this is the thread to add this point but here it is

I think one can say/prove that China consciously took advantage of the technology/labor exchange that the Western elite arranged to occur. The BIG lie from the West now is that China stole that technology and those jobs which is a misdirection from the private financial elite that made it happen in an attempt to instantiate the seed of private finance in China.

The elite could see back then that China development needed to be compromised and if that meant throwing Western jobs away, so be it because the profit was privatized and the losses by people socialized.

But the faith based sheeple of the West continue to have faith in the leaders who lie to them and treat them poorly......can you say brainwashed?

And now we are at the brink of private finance empire trying to stay alive in front of the coming China economic is amazing what one can do when you take the profit out of the middle of most essentials.

History is a lie commonly agreed to....Voltaire

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 5 2019 2:26 utc | 37

There never was a Tiananmen Square massacre. I've written here about it.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayastha | Jun 5 2019 2:52 utc | 38

I have always loved tank man. It does say something about China.

Could you imagine a US citizen trying to stop a US military tank during a civil insurrection? They would be crushed on the spot! There is a certain civility that the Chinese state respects when it comes to local protest.

I am not sure that many of the readers here are familiar with citizen-police confrontations over routine traffic accidents in Chian. I witnessed two. In both cases I saw Chinese citizens screaming at the local police officers. It was never clear to me who was right or wrong. However, in both cases I felt a certain fear for those Chinese citizens who were yelling at the police. Oh my god, I thought at the time, if that happened in the US the police would either shoot them on the spot or send them to jail.

A couple of Chinese friends of mine said that was not unusual. People on the streets always feel free to complain or contest the police about their interpretation of the existing laws or ordinances or whatever. Can anyone imagine confronting a US cop over his interpretation of some local ordinance? I know that my wife keeps yelling at me when I try reminding me that he could shoot me down on the spot.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 5 2019 2:59 utc | 39


The Unites States propagandizes the events of tiananmen square 30 years ago.

The problem is not in this fact. Capitalism depends upon growth, infinite growth. Whatever label you apply to the Chinese system of government depends upon growth. Any system that depends upon unlimited growth on this planet will eventually lead to the same outcome. Repression, persecution and annihilation.

One of the things I truly appreciate is math because math does not lie. With respect to that vein, I've been playing Sid Meiers Civilization since v1, back in the late 80's. You always run out of real estate. The same is true for earth. Looking forward and recognizing human nature, these are the challenges the human race faces, (for those who believe that all men are created equal).

Whatever form of government becomes dominant will be faced with this dilemna.

Personally, I do not believe God will let us off this planet until we learn to get along on this one.

Man persists, and believes that technology will provide the answers before they are needed. There is a fault within man that I believe defeats this line of thought, that being that Man does things because he can without considering whether he should. Contemplate the experimenting with that crispr dna editing tech. The consequences of gene editing have not been studied, nor the consequences thought through, but have already been put into practice, and not by just that one chinese scientist. Man has developed weapons which can destroy the planet and biologicals which can wipe out the human race. We have managed to pollute the food chain with chemicals and we do not have the slightest idea of the ramifications, (Although I believe that is where all those fat and gay people come from).

There is no way this ends well. Until Man learns to live in balance with the ecosystem provided, all paths leads directly to some form of killing.

So, while I recognize and understand the desire for a more palatable form of government than what the USA has provided, be careful what you wish for. Perhaps it is a case of baby steps and as each new form of government gains power we approach an understanding of our place in the universe. China after all, did have a 'one child' policy for a spell. The only glimmer of hope I see is that we have a lot of unoccupied real estate and perhaps man will adopt policies which will ensure the survivability of the next generation rather than concentrate on providing his own comfort.

Before the French start picking on me, I do believe that the U.S.A. has blown its opportunity and it is time for a new boss. I'm not seeing the true problems addressed, but have no qualms about moving to a new system. Everybody dies and I am thrilled to be a witness to the change.

Things I know:

Billionaires are not a measure of success, they are a measure of how corrupt the current system is. In a just system, no one would be able to accumulate so much.

God doesn't care if you believe in him, he believes in you.

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours. (richard bach)


Posted by: b4real | Jun 5 2019 3:08 utc | 40

Here's a curious jibe on the "mourners" in the West, from the CCP extraofficial tabloid, Global Times:

China’s growth miracle over past three decades underlines strategic choice at critical moment

I agree with it: if the West is so worried about "rising inequality", then why doesn't it look to Poland?

If they think China's post-1989 reforms were a failure, then what does it make Russia, the other ex-USSR states, and, most importantly, the Iron Curtain nations? There you can see, on live, what neoliberalism did to the ex-socialist republics.

Posted by: vk | Jun 5 2019 3:50 utc | 41

@38 ToivoS

What you are describing is a Chinese thing known as peichang. This is the idea that an occurrence can be addressed right on the spot where it happens, through the practice of negotiation - according, of course, to the overarching systems of courtesy and inclusiveness.

I gather from Jeff Brown that this means that in whatever may occur - from a traffic accident to a police raid - the possibility exists to solve this dis-harmony on the spot, in the moment, and to restore harmony, in which all participants and onlookers are satisfied.

The key here is that a situation need not be escalated to a higher ruling authority if it can be resolved by all parties in situ.

Furthermore, the higher authority will recognize - and certify at its own level - the resolution of a situation if the parties have all agreed. This is a very deeply ingrained principle of conduct in Chinese culture.


You have introduced a very important aspect of Chinese culture, something that is a very real part of how the Chinese think, but which is not well known. However, it is very real.

My searches on this word "peichang" don't yield good results, but yours might. I read about this in Jeff Brown's book that I cited earlier, but books are poor things to share links from.

Brown spent several pages out of a whole chapter - from page 43 of the paperback Dammit! book - to illustrate with anecdotes how this cultural aspect of peichang impacted his own life, and how it rules Chinese daily conduct.

Brown considered this aspect of peichang to be an important component of Chinese thinking, and so do I. It is supremely worthy of greater exposition by those who can add more worthy comments - please and thank you!

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 5 2019 3:59 utc | 42

Posted by: aspnaz | Jun 4, 2019 6:45:41 PM | 30

That is obvious. And it was 1989 when everybody thought communism was over and Western democracy was the fashion. The students had support from within the Communist Party leadership and Deng Xiaoping was meant to step down.

Britain has released documents from their diplomats in the era. Seen from Hong Kong it looks like an inter-Communist party fight at the end of Deng Xiaoping's leadership.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5 2019 4:30 utc | 43

@39 b4real

Civ is one of my most beloved games, but it doesnt matter what version, the ai is always hopelessly skewed to start rolling you with tanks when you are still constructing chariots.

I don't think I have ever beat the game past the warlord setting.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 5 2019 5:31 utc | 44

@39 b4real

The only true path to peace and denuclearization is to end globalism, international trade deals that allow exploitation of foreign workers leverarged against national ones, and the fostering of a technocratic anational elite.

What you get with nationalism are border skirmishes and diplomacy. What you get with neocolonialism and globalization are winner-take-all games of chicken, injustice, and betrayal of the people the elite should be working to protect.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 5 2019 5:38 utc | 45

@28 lochearn... thanks for that... well worth reading for others here, with the caveat that @35 zachary points out.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 5 2019 5:55 utc | 46

greived #42

Thank you for that information. I have never heard of 'peiching' before.

Before witnessing those two traffic accidents in China I got a sense of this form of Chinese justice when one of my students complained bitterly to me when he was cited for driving a moped without a proper licence. He was pulled over and tried to argue that many other drivers of mopeds without licences were driving around town. The cop, this was in Boston, simply told him but you got "caught".

Anyway my Chinese student thought US justice made no sense.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 5 2019 8:01 utc | 47

Kong Qingdong on the Tiananmen Incident

Here is an interview with Kong Qingdong, a literature professor at Peking University and former student leader in the early stages of the Tiananmen protests, he drifted apart from the movement when it became apparent that the student leaders like Chai Ling were unwilling to compromise, their only real objective being regime change, which would in no way benefit normal people in the country.

For the "China Watchers" and the think tanks that fund them, the real tragedy wasn't so much the consequent violence and repression, but the fact that the state did not collapse, that the west didn't have the opportunity to appoint a clown as premier who'd let them asset strip the country. Their hypocrisy is laid bare when they remain silent on the Gillets Jaunes movement, when they talk about internet censorship in China but ignore the same trend in their own backyard, they can't pretend to worship democracy when they celebrate the Taiwanese gov overruling referendums.

The entire purpose of the China Watcher community since the days that their most prestigious journals like China Quarterly were founded with CIA money, was and is to undermine China in ways that benefit the US. The interview with Kong Qingdong is valuable because the Chinese nationalist position is almost entirely neglected in the West, sadly many of western writers/bloggers who oppose the mainstream view on Chinese politics are too often slimy hucksters whose output is no less unnuanced and propagandistic than their better-funded rivals.

Posted by: Blotto | Jun 5 2019 8:50 utc | 48

Some quotes from the link @48
In fact, at the time of the protest movement, I heard that Feng Congde and others were already in close contact with the American embassy⁵. Among them some had already obtained American passports. This was a fundamental disagreement I had with the direction the movement was taking. The students leaders associating with foreign powers is something I absolutely disagreed with.

Q. At that time they already had American passports?
A. Yeah.
Q. Who arranged their passports? How do you know? They told you? Did anyone recommend that you get a US passport?
...One day at the Preparatory Committee I saw two students in charge of propaganda, both were undergraduates, they were mimeographing things, one of them saw me and said: “Kong, have you nabbed a passport yet?”, “What passport?”, “Feng Congde, Chai Ling, they’ve both got American passports.” I didn’t know anything about this, as I listened I got furious. My anger wasn’t jealousy, because I’ve never thought going to America would be a good thing, my place is in China,...

...“The struggle for democracy in China must rely on the Chinese people, it can’t depend on foreign powers.”There’s a reason I think this, at the time I came into contact with many foreign reporters, quite early on I noticed how biased they were. I can’t say for sure that the ones I met were spies but in my estimation some foreign journalists were. For one, when they interviewed me, reporters from Hong Kong, America, Japan, they didn’t publish my words as they were said, they distorted and embellished. Number two, during the interview they tried to encourage me to criticize the party, to praise America. They asked me whether or not I wanted to go to America and experience true freedom and democracy...
... I wasn’t fond of the way the forceful way the government spoke, but what they were actually saying, “This is a complex situation, there are certain forces behind the scenes sowing discord”, this was true. But due to the way the government was putting across its message it could never be accepted by the students."

Going by operation golden Bird as per b's update and the interview of Kong Qingdong linked by Blotto
This looks to be an attempted CIA color revolution.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 5 2019 9:58 utc | 49

Sorry, your ‘gruesome pictures’ are all fakes. Why is the hanged ‘man’ at the bus hanging in two completely different spots? Guy behind looks pasted in, check the light on his shoulders, check the darkness of the ceiling of the bus.

First hanged ‘man’ also looks fake. We need to check whether the entire episode was fake, as we already have seen so often.

Posted by: Nils | Jun 5 2019 10:21 utc | 50

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 5, 2019 5:58:41 AM | 49

I doubt they had the means to do that. Their Chinese is not that good. I suspect though a lot was done via Hongkong and Hongkong had a good reason - they were going to be part of the mainland soon. But of course Western embassies supported the students and may have been responsible for provocative acts. But mainly it was the politburo itself fighting it out for Deng Xiaping's succession.

China has had a history of politburo members or elder statesmen fighting it out via student movements - ie the cultural revolution. Deng xiaoping had been the victim of it and he certainly did not wish to repeat it. The army had "restored order" then.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5 2019 10:39 utc | 51

Posted by: spike | Jun 4, 2019 4:17:37 PM | 14

Yep. You realize where Al Jazeera got their journalism from. She did not even wear a bullet proof vest or a helmet when reporting.

She reported from the streets leading up to Tienanmen square.

You need very good "fixers" to do something like this ie you have to get your crew to where the action is and you have to know this beforehand.

Still, it is not reporting "from" Tien an men square as was later claimed. She was the BBC war "zone reporter" but no China specialist and it is unlikely she even spoke the language.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5 2019 11:04 utc | 52

Indeed it is obvious and it is simple, which makes me wonder about all the talk of a people’s revolution and oppression of the workers, none of which is shared by my colleagues. This is used as pure hype from the west, the sad thing is that even this site is playing that game. I also doubt that the British in HK had any idea of what was happening in Beijing. The British in HK were on a jolly, the usual overseas assignment with HMS. They were the UK filth: failed in London try Hong Kong.

Posted by: Aspnaz | Jun 5 2019 11:12 utc | 53

Pictures here showing burning or burnt out military vehicles. At least two separate convoys plus others where burnt.

The US embassy cables have been available for some time. I read them a couple of years back. The vehicles where abandoned as to troops tried to make their way through the crowds on foot, with the crowds then setting them on fire. This was before the military used force and perhaps why.

A lot of people were shot by the military after the rioting and burning started, but what happened to the machine gun ammunition in the burning APC's. I have watched videos of the Houthi's destroying Saudi vehicles. Houthi videos are good as they show the vehicle burning for some time. The ammunition will go off intermittently at times and at times it goes off like a machine gun.
Detonating ammunition in the APC's would have added greatly to the gunfire heard by reporters, yet I have never heard it mentioned in relation to Tiananmen.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 5 2019 11:25 utc | 54

So many people have made up stories about this incident that there is no way you can believe any of this. The “westernisation” of the story, to put it in terms that the west will believe makes it totally unbelievable. Even the Taiwanese are not going to choose the USA over China. Any attempt to attribute western behaviour to the Chinese just proves to me that the story is fake and that the west STILL do not understand the Chinese. I’m proud to say that my nephew hitchhiked across China last year, visiting me on the way: every journey is an education.

Posted by: Aspnaz | Jun 5 2019 11:29 utc | 55

Posted by: Aspnaz | Jun 5, 2019 7:29:15 AM | 55

Not knowing anything about China but guessing on the coincidence of Tien An Men Square and Gorbachev's visit, I would say a considerable amount of geopolitics went into it.

We in the Soviet Union follow with keen interest the transformations that are unfolding in China," the Soviet president said." ... China's top leader, Deng, speaking last week with visiting Iranian President Ali Khamenei, said that he and Gorbachev would "try to settle the disputes that have arisen between us over the past 30 years so as to normalize Sino-Soviet relations," the official New China News Agency reported.

"While one cannot expect an overnight solution to all problems," the English-language China Daily newspaper commented, reflecting the still cautious official opinion here, "it is nonetheless hoped that the summit meeting will put an end to most of the past grievances and open up a new era in relations between the two countries. . . .

And of course Gene Sharp was there talking to student leaders.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5 2019 11:45 utc | 56

add to 56
and as usual "the West" was shooting itself in its foot.

Gorbachev had become heavily invested in the success of normalizing relations with China — it was the only major accomplishment of his Asia policy — and he simply could not afford to criticize Beijing for killing hundreds of students. He believed that China’s international isolation and Western sanctions after Tiananmen offered an excellent opportunity for forging closer links with the Chinese and bringing them into a "strategic triangle" with India and the USSR.

Posted by: Aspnaz | Jun 5, 2019 7:12:54 AM | 53
I am not talking about the British in HongKong but the Chinese in Hongkong.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5 2019 11:52 utc | 57

Thanks for the Yellow Bird update b.
Wikipedia has an article on it and describes Operation Yellow Bird as
"...a Hong Kong-based operation to help the Chinese dissidents who participated in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 to escape arrest by the PRC government by facilitating their departure overseas via Hong Kong."

Wiki articulates OYB as a Christian Colonial, post-revolution mercy mission to rescue Chinese dissidents. Although the Wiki article cleanses the narrative of Christian Colonial involvement as instigators, it does provide a list of Western leaders who actively supported the operation - aka a representative cross-section of The Usual Suspects. The list makes it unnecessary to guess who instigated the uprising.
Interestingly, the UN doesn't rate a mention which suggest that the UN was as fake, irrelevant and controlled by the Christian Colonial Cartel in 1989 as it is today.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 5 2019 12:08 utc | 58

CIA operatives in China:
Between what you said and this UNZ article on the subject I am amazed at the long arm of our CIA.
Good grief and we complain that China is using students to spy on the U.S., we always claim that we are the victim. If we make an accusation, we are doing it. No wonder China is trying to clear out that rats nest.

WHY ARE EMBASSY CABLES ALWAYS IN UPPER CASE, I FIND THIS UNREADABLE. Is this a convention from the 1800's when we used to use the telegraph?

Propaganda out of control: paying for the bullet:
One of the stories that played on my heart strings when I was naive was how the Chinese spent the next year after the 'massacre' hunting down the remaining protesters and executing them. I don't know how many or even if this is true anymore. Everything I hear that promotes that the U.S. is uniquely good while our enemies are evil ends up being a lie.
(paying for the bullet is the meme that they then charge the family for the bullet used to kill their loved one)

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 5 2019 12:23 utc | 59

The Hong Kong locals in 1989 were as busy making money as they are today. The difference then was that HK was much smaller and not "infested" (little crumb for my HK frieds there) with mainlander immigrants ... 170 per day is the last figure I read/heard. But, the Chinese government is shrewd, they are clever people who have earned their positions through cleverness, not via the ballot, so deserve respect. HK is in a difficult position because their freedoms will reduce, they will become like the mainland and their self esteem will take a hit - they won't be special any more! But the China communist party is the most successful government in history, so not a bad thing in the long run.

Posted by: aspnaz | Jun 5 2019 12:28 utc | 60

The only wrong thing that the CCP did during the 6/4 crackdown was not busting the FUD and Western propaganda with an effective international PR campaign.

Posted by: JW | Jun 5 2019 14:00 utc | 61

@ aspnaz 60
But the China communist party is the most successful government in history, so not a bad thing in the long run.
Very good -- that about sums it up.
For those who haven't had the opportunity to visit China, and see a modern country built recently and still a-building, and observe its citizens, I recommend it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 5 2019 14:10 utc | 62

Gorbachev's visit during Tien An Men shows the point where two "communist" societies took different paths.

Russia's "democratization" meant the plundering of the state's assets and transformed the party's nomenklatura into rich robber barons who hid their riches in "the West". Something Putin has tried to control and partly revert.

China privatised but kept states assets and party control of the economy from the start. They bought Western debt - as a state.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 5 2019 14:41 utc | 63

i recall seeing reports on this when it happened and the years following as i grew up; there was sometimes a heavy insinuation that the tanks ran the guy over and killed him.

in my current sidecar that pretends to be a country the news line has been "china commemorates by by pretending it never happened". still waiting on the commemoration of 2003's "shock and awe", idiots.

speaking of which, odd how that burnt soldier - if the picture is genuine - looks a lot like the blackwater BBQ from fallujah. i also can't help but think of the CIA's playbook, how this failed "revolution" fits it perfectly and how they've screwed around in tibet for decades. the aftermath also matches up with schemes like "operation paperclip".

as for "deceptive vs stupid", these "people" can be both at the same time. it does seem as you go from the top where these stories are concocted toward the bottom where it's defecated into the face of cable news viewers it transitions from the former to the latter.

Posted by: the pair | Jun 5 2019 15:37 utc | 64

Today, Putin and Xi have had talks and met the press. The event's at the Kremlin and will move to the SPIEF tomorrow. Here's a link describing the onset of the talks. I hope to get the presser transcript soon.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 5 2019 16:37 utc | 65

This Sputnik report doesn't provide much info other than an announcement that more bilateral trade will be conducted in Rubles and Yuan, and acknowledging progress on Korean situation. RT and TASS's items didn't add much, and the presser is currently ongoing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 5 2019 16:49 utc | 66

A partial timeline of fukus overt/covert wars against

Eight natons alliance,

Opium war,

1949 -1970
Total embargo, including wheats , penicillin...

Korean war,

1959, Tibet

1962, Indo/sino war,

1967 Vietnam war,

TAM , mother of all color rev.

Bombing of Chinese embassy in ex Yugo,

Hainan spy plane provocation,

2003 onwards....
bird flu,
swine flu,

Tibet riots,

Xinjiang bloodbath,

2013 onwards..
Asia pivot,
provocations in SCS, ECS, TW straits

Xinjiang bloodbath..

Economic warfare,
biowarfare [swine flu]
Continuation of SCS, ECS, TW provocations,
Xinjiang smear campaign continues.....

Posted by: denk | Jun 5 2019 17:03 utc | 67

I do no doubt some horrible things happened in the Square, but the single matter of "tank man" has always bothered me.

Our press used the images endlessly to drive home a point, almost the way they did the images of the collapsing towers of 9/11.

But I've always thought they showed something other than what was claimed.

You might enjoy:

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Jun 5 2019 17:07 utc | 68


'umbrella rev' in HK...

Posted by: denk | Jun 5 2019 17:24 utc | 69


"She probably missed the proto-Color Revolution angle"

Maybe because it didn't happen? The idea that *everything* is the result of Western/American interference strikes me as a kind of neo-colonialist attitude that denies agency to the natives of a place. It is entirely possible for the protests of 1989 to have been a genuinely domestic Chinese phenomenon, with little or no outside influence.

Now, how foreign media portrayed the events during and after the fact, that's another matter entirely. Demonstrations calling out the hypocrisy of the Party and wanting reform doesn't automatically equal people calling for the abolition of the Party.

Posted by: Merasmus | Jun 5 2019 19:31 utc | 70

The World Socialist Website begs to differ, though certainly also blames the likes of the USA for trying to keep workers down. Their point is that the terror extended well beyond Beijing and lasted for months:

Posted by: Jay | Jun 5 2019 19:45 utc | 71

Transcript of the press statements by Presidents Xi and Putin. I'll excerpt this part of Xi's statement:

"The international situation is undergoing profound changes not seen in the past century. Peace and development remain the spirit of the times. However, protectionism and one-sided approaches are increasing, and the policy of force and hegemonism is intensifying. We have a long and difficult path to go before we arrive at peace and development.

"As leading world powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia will, in conjunction with the international community, show a sense of duty and resolutely protect the international system, under UN auspices, based on international law, and actively promote political settlements in the hotbeds of tension; we will protect the multilateral trade system, impart positive energy to an extremely difficult international situation, and make new contributions to building a common destiny for all of humankind."

Additional speeches by both will be given later this evening and will hopefully contain additional information, although there's plenty to unpack from what's already been said.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 5 2019 21:02 utc | 72

Grieved @42:

Peichang just translate to "compensation". It does not really mean an addressing the situation on the spot through negotiation, or "overarching systems of courtesy and inclusiveness". Compensation through a long, drawn-out court case is also called peichang. And people screaming at police are usually reviled in recent years, from numerous cases in Chinese social media (because it often turns out to be about some selfish unreasonable demands).

Honestly, it's refreshing and heartening to see so many comments here that are supportive of China, in contrast to the prevalent racism and sinophobia in most other places. But, um, you (the general "you") also don't have to idealize Chinese society, either, because you think it's got something that's missing in the Western society around you. Because it isn't that useful either. And in the end, it is also reductive.

In the end, 1989 was thirty years ago. Right now people are busy in China.

Posted by: Chinese American | Jun 5 2019 22:07 utc | 73

On the current news of Xi and Putin's meeting:
China, Russia agree to upgrade relations for new era

In exact words, the relationship between China and Russia is now defined to be a "comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era". Previously, it was "comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination".

As a thought experiment, I suggest briefly considering the following questions, (and maybe save the sweeping statements about "Chinese culture/mindset/society/history" for later):

1. What does each one of these words mean?

2. Why are the words "for a new era" added now?

3. Why is it an upgrade?

(I don't know the answers to these, BTW, though I can come up with some personal guesses. There are a number of countries with which China has "partnerships", "strategic partnerships", "comprehensive strategic partnerships". I have been told that the "of coordination" is unique to China-Russia, though I haven't checked.)

Posted by: Chinese American | Jun 5 2019 22:28 utc | 74

Larchmonter445 provides a recap of the Xi-Putin events that happened today and touches on a few other points. He does somewhat address Chinese American's questions @74. His observation highlights an important point:

"President Xi and President Putin signed the multipage document (which clearly indicates more than just a terminology change from the former relationship title to the new one.) [My Emphasis]

Clearly, as noted, this is more than just a simple upgrade, like adding a new app to your phone. The relationship is "intimate, vital," beyond mere "double-helix" and now symbiotic perhaps. Their expressions to each other are those of brothers, inseparable kin, the rarest of sorts between two world leaders of their caliber.

My question: Who will follow in their footsteps as their task will take longer than their lives?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 6 2019 0:27 utc | 75

@ Chinese American and karlof1 about the "new" China/Russia relationship

Thanks for the reporting. I think what we are seeing made public is the depth of commitment to back each other against nuclear attack from the West.

I write that because I read elsewhere today that my fucking president (Trump if any question) is making bully statements about nuclear usage. I wish I could think of some way to stop the madness but can only appreciate the efforts to do so by others....China/Russia

Lets hope this crazy is over soon and the mature adults prevail.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 6 2019 0:50 utc | 76

@ 73 Chinese American - "Honestly, it's refreshing and heartening to see so many comments here that are supportive of China"

The way that happens, is by over-reacting a bit. China may look ordinary to you, but to me it looks visionary. We are obviously comparing the same thing from different reference points. Against the appalling appearance of the US in its dotage, the appearance of China in its renaissance is almost blindingly full of light.

The time will come, my friend, for us to be more evenly balanced with regard to China - when we know more, and when the old propaganda of lies against China has been destroyed. But today, in the heart of the struggle and in the heat of the battle, we need alternatives to the western propaganda.

I actually don't think I'm over-praising China's revolutionary system, I think I'm reporting it well enough for its example to be used as revolutionary in the west.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 6 2019 1:57 utc | 77


About that 'ccp's brutal crackdown on
unarmed protestors in Tibet', 2008...

Posted by: denk | Jun 6 2019 2:57 utc | 78


Back then ICH was using the haloscan comment system, those links are all kaput now, but it can be recovered by using
the waybackmachine site.

Posted by: denk | Jun 6 2019 3:10 utc | 79


That's one of my archived item.

Posted by: denk | Jun 6 2019 3:13 utc | 80

Thank you b for your enlightening post. And to all comments here as well. I am trying to think of a similar partnership (for good) between two world leaders of this quality; I cannot. It really does signify hope for the world. It quite literally brings tears to my eyes. God bless them!

To karlof1 who wonders who will replace them - well, I have a couple of part-Chinese grandsons who might help bring the US into the fold someday - (the older of the two has a smile that radiates in all directions.) There will come a day when this madness will all be over. . .

Posted by: juliania | Jun 6 2019 3:50 utc | 81

As has been mentioned here recently, has been under increasing pressure from the government to comply with Scum Mo's unspoken wishes. Evidence of this pressure emerged in September 2018 when the Chairman sacked CEO, Michelle Guthrie, for 'ineptitude.' Ms Guthrie called bs on this and insisted that she was sacked for failing to comply with the Chairman's whimsical hints that she should get rid of two exceptionally 'troublesome' reporters. In the wake of the ensuing storm, the Chairman was left with no option but to resign. And Ms Guthrie sued the ABC's ass off, and won.
On Monday, June 3, a chastened 4Corners cobbled together a tweaked version of the Tienanmen Square protests and "Brutal Crackdown" using a combination of 1989 archival footage, and some 2019 updates of embellished bathos and idle speculation.

They called it Tremble and Obey...

It's a fascinating way to revamp a story because the 1989 footage is 4:3 format and the updates and tweaks are in widescreen 16:9 format making it easy to detect when you're having your chain Yanked.
It's generally honest and straight-forward although the 'bloodshed' is conveyed verbally rather than visually, which would have made the truthiness uglier but more persuasive.
Some of the widescreen updates are quite counter-intuitive, especially one near the end when Widescreen Woman claims that the protesters wanted a "better life for the people" which History and subsequent social and financial advances suggest is what The Party (which wasn't toppled) wanted too...

The 4C video has English translations built-in and the voice-over narrative subtitles can be switched on or off.

In 4C's version Tank Man disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again, and the viewer is encouraged to assume the worst.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 6 2019 3:50 utc | 82

juliania @81--

Not only a wide yet deep education will your grandsons need; they will also need to acquire the ability to assume great responsibility and decision making both of which will require and provide wisdom. And their education needs to include multiligualism; they are still young enough to access universal grammar to learn Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Spanish as well as English.

Xi's been named to his position for life. Putin says he'll retire at the end of his current term. Xi has a very deeply knowledgeable Politburo backing him while Putin doesn't, although Larov and Shoigu have excellent Seconds. The big challenge of the future will be the required transition to Steady-State political-economies due to the Climate Crisis and related depletion of key resources, all while keeping the peace.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 6 2019 4:40 utc | 83

left wing Jacobinmag still pushing Tiananmen square 'massacre' fraud

Posted by: brian | Jun 6 2019 5:01 utc | 84

Chinese American "because you think it's got something that's missing in the Western society around you"

What China does have that is missing in society around us in the west is leadership with a vision.
No country is a utopia, but there was something in China that I can't really put my finger on or name that is missing in the west. Perhaps its optimism, perhaps it was the traffic cops pulling up at the bakery to get something to eat then sitting there watching tv or sleeping until knock off time rather than amassing brownie points by handing out traffic tickets. China also has its problems too. Very high population density was the thing I noticed most.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 6 2019 5:17 utc | 85

Update (June 5) Peter Lee, aka Chinahand, was there on the ground. He just published his eyewitness account written down at that time.

Sorry B, that fairytale from Peter Lee is garbage, every single word of it. If that is what he "experienced" then he was high on drugs. It is a blatent CIA fabrication. "Frequently visiting Beijing on business" my foot! Then every night out in the heat of the battle! More likely he was on CIA business relaying order from the US Embassy to the CIA-appointed "Maidan perpetrators". Every single word of the account is weaponised, and not a mention of the atrocities against the soldiers.

In particular, every word of the "account" is obvious fantasy and wildly implausible, similar to the Random Guy fantasies.

The only thing plausible on that page is the critical comment from Godfrey Roberts.

Posted by: BM | Jun 6 2019 7:10 utc | 86

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 6, 2019 12:40:01 AM | 83

Yep. I understand, that that "for life" thing was the consequence of Tien An Men Square when they realized they had to find a way to limit conflict within the Communist Party.

It is dangerous stuff. It works as long as the decisions of the guy on the top are good, but if his decisions are wrong, everything will go wrong. Good advisers are no help, because it is the guy on the top who choses advisers, and usually they chose what they want to hear.

"For life" is extremely dangerous stuff, because people tend to be incapacitated in different ways at the end of their life, and that is the point when "advisers" take over.

Putin cannot step down because he has to protect the interests of the Russian cleptocracy whose legitimacy is paper thin. Should his succession fail, Russia will be similar to Ukraine where oligarchs are duking it out.

The United States are dysfunctional in lots of ways, but very successful despite and because of it.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6 2019 10:02 utc | 87

somebody @87--

Take note of what Larchmonter wrote recently about the Politburo overriding Xi's decision on the Trade War, and take the time to download and read the linked White Paper they produced. Xi may be the man on top for life, but he governs via an overall consensus and isn't considered infallible. There's no evidence for your assertions about Putin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 6 2019 11:42 utc | 88

Peter AU 1 @85:

perhaps it was the traffic cops pulling up at the bakery to get something to eat then sitting there watching tv or sleeping until knock off time rather than amassing brownie points by handing out traffic tickets

Yes, that's exactly what I mean by "because you think it's got something that's missing in the Western society around you"!

I don't doubt the sincerity of the posters here, but honestly, some of the examples cited in these comments as what people see in current Chinese society, to many actual Chinese people, would probably seem kind of...fantastic.

Posted by: Chinese American | Jun 6 2019 13:27 utc | 89

Wow - I didn't know this.

Gene Sharp, the father of the 'non-violent' 'color revolutions', was in Beijing with the student leaders in Tiananmem. That is fairly good evidence that the CIA created the whole mess.

He even wrote a report about it: Nonviolent Struggle in China: An Eyewitness Account

Posted by: b | Jun 6 2019 14:19 utc | 90

@90 b.. that is a pretty big coincidence... and of course wikipedia makes no mention of him being in china at the time either..

Posted by: james | Jun 6 2019 14:37 utc | 91

Interesting news b. That the more reactionary or crazy student leaders were visiting the US embassy, received US passports, then talked the students into continuing when they were ready to pack it in had already made this an early attempted US colour revolution.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 6 2019 14:53 utc | 92

b, somebody @56 posted a link to that article but I had forgotten the connection of Sharp to color revolutions.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 6 2019 15:03 utc | 93

Grieved @77:

Thank you very much for your reply! I can certainly see where you are coming from. I thought about it some more, and I am not actually objecting to "over-praising" China per se. It's actually also not that I see China as "ordinary". Rather, I am somewhat jarred to see comments about China--even positive ones--that seemed to me to be based on some rather basic misunderstandings or even, sorry, fantasies. It is good to see positive attitudes toward China, and I definitely wish more people in the West would feel this way,. On the other hand such attitudes, if not based on a humble (I'll say what I mean by this word in a moment) and factual-based knowledge, can easily collapse and turn 180 degrees around if one comes to feels one's own mental expectations are not fulfilled. This is why I commented that it would not be "useful" to create mental images that are not connected to the realities of what is happening at each moment, and to the fact that ultimately, the first obligation of China is to itself.

What is fascinating to me, personally, is that even among those who are clearly friendly to the Chinese people, such as commenters here, I still see quite a bit of evidence of fairly classic forms or Orientalist thinking, in the sense of E. Said. A part of what said described is that those in the west "creates the reality" of the Orient. In other words, people form a mental image, often based on incomplete or minimal information, and on certain experiences and opinions that do not necessarily directly relate to China. This idea--of what China "should" be--becomes more real that the objective existence of 1.4 billion people, or their experiences and voices. Maybe it is unavoidable and even understandable, but it is something to guard against. That's not because I, or someone like me, would be personally offended in an "omg people are oppressed by old white men" way, but purely practically, because it doesn't help one's cause.

(Now as to the word "humble" I used a moment ago, I meant the acknowledgement that one does not "understand" China as a whole. My own view is that this should actually be the first and most fundamental principle to keep in mind in any discourse about China, and I actually believe it goes for everyone, China "experts" and Chinese persons included.)

Posted by: Chinese American | Jun 6 2019 15:15 utc | 94

So you too delete those who post truths you don't like. Well, to hell with you too. Just another damned liar.

Posted by: Tony B. | Jun 6 2019 16:28 utc | 95

well, i can see why b would delete @95 tony b's comment- completely irrelevant..

@93 peter.. yes and i missed it.. the poster -somebody- linked to an article from fall 1989 volume 1 number 2 - Nonviolent Sanctions News from the Albert Einstein Institution.... it is interesting the magazine is called '''nonviolent sanctions'''.. what the fuck is that supposed to imply?? kind of like the sanctions on venezuala, iran, syria and russia at present? nonviolent? jesus..

"Gene Sharp, President of the Albert Einstein Institution, and his research assistant, Bruce Jenkins, were in Beijing studying the pro-democracy movement firsthand when the government crack-down occurred. They conducted a seriesof interviews with student leaders and participants in the movement and observed daily events in Tiananmen Square leading up to the June 4 massacre. All told, they spent nine days in Beijing, from May 28 to June 6, 1989."

Posted by: james | Jun 6 2019 16:41 utc | 96

To BM @86
I, too, smelled a rat, when he claimed that someone told him 3000 people were killed in one night. No evidence - just someone saying it. So how can you believe the rest?

Posted by: GoraDiva | Jun 6 2019 22:31 utc | 97

@86 bm and @97 goradiva... i see it different here... interesting... on the other hand gene sharps presence in china during this time frame sure looks like a cia set up to me..

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2019 1:28 utc | 98

Sally Snyder 1
*Here is an interesting video showing how China is preparing its population for war*:

To paraphrase Charley Reese [RIP]
The CCP ought to be shot if they
dont prepare itself for war

*Thirty years after Tiananmen, China's leadership is still using the media to control its narrative.*

Thirty years after Tiananmen, fukus is still using the media to demonise China and brainwash sheeple like Sally.


Posted by: denk | Jun 7 2019 4:41 utc | 99

@6 A lot of the difficulty in assigning blame to whoever was due to there being two serious protests going on at the same time, the students in Tiananmen Square and the workers not far away. The students were getting a lot more attention, so the workers tried to advance on the square, making the soldiers they were facing have to back off towards the square and into the soldiers that were confronting the students. Your "gruesome pictures" show the results of the workers' battle (I think). Australian ABC TV News showed a photo (now lost) of seven soldiers hanging from a bridge. Australian PM Bob Hawke cried as he said tanks rolled back and forth over the students. This never was substantiated with any evidence.

Posted by: Palloy | Jun 7 2019 8:16 utc | 100

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