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Scrutiny
  
Tiananmen Mminus The Bloodshed?
Was the Tiananmen Square incident more of a Western Media Propaganda to damage China’s image? Was the uprising in fact dismantled peacefully without a drop of blood being shed? Did US diplomatic officials already know of this new truism? If WikiLeaks is to be believed... yes!
04/08/2011

There are two views of Tiananmen Square. One is the western view, which says that on June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square, anywhere between 240-2600 protestors were brutally killed to suppress any uprising; and the other view, which says that in 1989, in Tiananmen Square, no bloodshed occurred and the entire uprising was crushed peacefully. The entire propaganda with respect to the bloody massacre is said to be more of a western media gimmick to dent China’s image in global forums, according to the latter view.

The US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks (released a week back) indicate that on June 4, 1989, the Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) “did not massacre demonstrators inside Tiananmen Square.” The cables also cite an eyewitness, a Chilean diplomat, who saw the military entering the square but did not see any mass firing of weapons. The crowd was apparently forced to dismantle using anti-protest weapons like truncheons and wooden clubs. After several requests made by leaders including Liu Xiaobo – Nobel Peace Prize winner, 2010 – students peacefully left the square.

The cables also mention the name of James Miles, who was in Beijing then as the BBC correspondent. James confessed in 2009 that he misinterpreted the entire saga and “there was no massacre at Tiananmen Square.” Another cable declares how the protest was supported by “the leader of China’s trade unions” and further mentions, “An anonymous caller who phoned Congen Shenyang on the morning of May 21 said that the party had convened a CCPCC meeting and that the Chairman of the All China Federation of Labour Unions Ni Zhifu condemned the decision to impose martial law.” Against the popular belief false perspectives created by the western media, a cable quotes a few diplomats who describe a “joyous mood among the protestors after the first introduction of martial law in Beijing failed to halt the pro-democracy movement.”
Beyond WikiLeaks, there are several sites, micro-sites and news items that point towards the same fact. In an archive (titled “A National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book”) in George Washington University (gwu.edu), the US embassy declared that “...the troop’s lack of weapons in their earlier assault indicates that orders not to use force had still been in effect [during the Tiananmen Square protests]” Another document in the same website (dated June 3, 1989) reads, “Police today fired tear gas on crowds gathered at the walled compound of Zhongnanhai, near Tiananmen Square, according to press reports.”

A book written by Madrid’s then ambassador to Beijing, Eugenio Bregolat, talks about the myth of the massacre and states, “Spain’s TVE channel had a television crew in the square at the time, and if there had been a massacre, they would have been the first to see it and record it.” Even a Reuters Correspondent Graham Earnshaw wrote in his memoir that the students left peacefully. However, a week after the incident on June 12, 1989, NYT sensationalised the issue by quoting usage of machine guns and tankers.

Another documentary named The Gate of Heavenly Peace by Long Bow Group, Inc. contains video evidences of actual incidents and fortifies the WikiLeaks’ cables. Similarly, books like Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China’s Democracy Movement, Columbia Journalism Review (The Myth of Tiananmen & the Price of a Passive Press) and many more talk about how there was no bloodshed. These documents point out how no exit points were blocked during the incident, no detentions were done and the Chinese army was only asked to clear the area.

Most of such reports were either never picked up by mainstream (and Western) media, or were ruthlessly buried after being tagged as a “conspiracy.” In spite of Chinese officials and government agencies challenging the facts and perspectives crafted by BBC, CNN and likes, not much heed was paid and the entire incident was marked as one of the biggest human rights abuses in history. This is not an isolated case. As per a report published by Chinadaily.com titled, Lhasa riot reports show media bias in West, authored by Ye Jun in March, 2008, many western media like CNN and BBC published fabricated reports about Lhasa (Tibet) riots and went to the extent of misinterpreting a photo of a Red Cross ambulance to deceive readers.

Such fabrication of truth and deliberate tweaking of facts has deluded an entire generation and spread venom in Sino-US relations. Besides, it has painted a negative perception of the Chinese government globally. Also, with its largely inhibited media back home, even mighty China finds itself hard pressed to fight this propaganda war. From that perspective, the US has indeed chosen its attack strategy well. But with WikiLeaks bringing out the truth so prominently, it could now be Uncle Sam’s turn to face really grilling questions.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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