China defends Tiananmen crackdown on eve of 25th anniversary

China defends Tiananmen crackdown on eve of 25th anniversary

6:19am EDT

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – China defended the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Tuesday, the eve of the 25th anniversary, saying it had chosen the correct path for the sake of the people.

For the ruling Communist Party, the 1989 demonstrations that clogged Tiananmen Square in Beijing and spread to other cities remain taboo after the government termed the protests “counter-revolutionary”.

The anniversary of the date on which troops shot their way into central Beijing in 1989 has never been publicly marked in mainland China, though every year there are commemorations in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, as well as in self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

The government has never released a death toll for the crackdown, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.

“The Chinese government long ago reached a conclusion about the political turmoil at the end of the 1980s,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.

“In the last three decades and more of reform and opening up, China’s enormous achievements in social and economic development have received worldwide attention. The building of democracy and the rule of law have continued to be perfected,” he said.

“It can be said that the road to socialism with Chinese characteristics which we follow today accords with China’s national condition and the basic interests of the vast majority of China’s people, which is the aspiration of all China’s people.”

The foreign ministry is typically the only government department which will regularly answer questions from foreign reporters, especially on sensitive topics.

The run-up to the anniversary has been marked by detentions, increased security in Beijing and tighter controls on the Internet, including disruption of Google services.

Hong would not comment on why Google was being targeted, saying only that the government “manages the Internet in accordance with the law”.

Authorities detained several activists last month after attending a meeting about the protests, including prominent rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, prompting concern in the United States and Europe.

SPOKESMAN: NO DISSIDENTS, ONLY LAW BREAKERS

Hong said China had no such thing as dissidents.

“In China there are only law breakers — there are no so-called dissidents.”

Hong also would not comment on the reported detention in Beijing over the weekend of Chinese-born Australian artist Guo Jian, a former Chinese soldier who last week gave an interview to the Financial Times about the crackdown.

“I don’t understand the details of the situation, but I want to point out that the relevant departments of the Chinese government consistently act in accordance with the law,” he said.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement that their embassy in Beijing was in contact with the Chinese government about Guo’s case and was requesting access to him.

“Initial advice from Chinese authorities is that Mr Guo was detained on a visa-related matter. When consular officials have the opportunity to visit Mr Guo, they will seek to confirm the nature of his detention, check on his welfare and extend to him all appropriate consular assistance,” it said.

“We hope that this consular visit will take place in coming days,” the department said, adding that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said that the government will do what it can to secure his release.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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