The Japan Times released a dangerous article yesterday titled, Which Tiananmen Narrative is True?
In this piece, the author uses the time honored tradition of Chinese government trolls and holocaust deniers around the world, trying to discredit the legitimacy of the event by questioning the individual details of the story. He then went on to blame the protestors for their deaths, a horrifying and callous claim, and then asserted that the CCP has been positive for China because of the pace of urban development. The rhetoric and claims made in this piece mirror the worst of the pro-CCP propaganda distributed on the internet, and the world should take umbrage with the author and the Japan Times for allowing it to be published.
The author claims that there are competing narratives over what took place during the massace: a supposedly Western narrative, and a Chinese narrative, and that the truth lies somewhere in between. This itself is a dangerous fraud, and this tool is often used by authoritarian regimes to shield themselves from accountability by redefining reality.
There is an objective truth of what took place between June 3rd and June 4th, 1989, and the only obstacle to uncovering that truth has been the efforts of the CCP to cover up their crimes, nothing else. Whether 300 or 3000 souls were murdered that night, or whether they died in the square or in protests surrounding the square even miles away, nothing justifies shooting down unarmed protesters in cold blood. The claims of violence against soldiers are absolutely unsubstantiated by fact, and the countless hours of footage from that night shows chaos, but nothing justifying the shooting of unarmed protestors. Just as pertinent, since the author makes claims based on unreliable testimony and there surely should be more information on the events of that night, absolutely nothing further justified the coverup and complete lack of accountability by the totalitarian CCP state. Police brutality, massacres and political violence are a sad fact of the world, but it is rare that the government not only refused to investigate, they purge the memory of the event from the very consciousness of the people. This is Orwellian thought manipulation, and the fact that not a soul faced consequences for ordering those murders nor is there a shred of closure for the families shows that the CCP persistently has acted in the worst faith imaginable.
The author of thus piece seemed to imply otherwise, and went on to trample the memory of the dead by suggesting that perhaps the CCP is not so evil after all, that the development overseen in the years following the massacre justifies the crimes of the regime. The authoritarian developmental state myth is also false and a favorite tool of authoritarian sycophants to justify the behavior of such regimes. The fact is that under a regime that most countries in the world accept is actively perpetuating an ethnic cleansing, no one is better off because the urban standard of living rises at 6% instead of 5%, if one even accepts not only the falsity that authoritarian stability increases growth rates, or better yet, believes the GDP numbers produced by the Chinese authorities as true and not completely fabricated. At the end of the day though, it makes no difference, as the Chinese people should have been given the right to decide whether they were willing to sacrifice some political freedom for potential economic growth. In the end, they never were asked, and when a group of students did take a stand to ask for political reform, they were shot dead in the streets.
This piece reads like it was drafted by the propaganda department of the PRC, and the rhetoric in it runs the gamut from intellectually dishonest to downright inhuman. It very well may have been funded by the CCP. The Japan Times, by allowing this piece to be published, tarnished the memory of the dead of that night, and took a stance on the side of tyrants, autocrats, and genocidal regimes everywhere, perhaps warranting that they rethink their journalistic stance. If not, they stand the risk of being an accessory to the crimes of one of the darkest regimes to ever exist.
Staff writer: Ari B
The source article: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/06/06/commentary/world-commentary/tiananmen-narrative-true/