How the Tiananmen Square protests led to the new China Model – Klaus Mühlhahn
The Chinese leadership is nervous. With great apprehension over the last few weeks, it has been watching the approach of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, which happened without great incident on Tuesday. The dramatic tightening of political control, and the harassment and detainment of government critics, undoubtedly has its origins in the fears surrounding the June Fourth anniversary.
The intoxicating months of spring 1989 on Tiananmen Square, and the abrupt, brutal crackdown by the Chinese military that followed, remain at the forefront of China’s collective memory, despite substantial attempts to censor and repress. The horrible loss of life and violent suppression of democracy will not soon be forgotten. More than a tragic, historic moment, though, the June Fourth massacre marked the decisive and fundamental shift towards the China we know today: a China that has been pushed towards the embrace of authoritarianism and state capitalism. Over the last 30 years, this model has proved much more successful and resilient that most observers had assumed.