The Goddess of Democracy smiled on China for exactly five days in 1989 before communist troops moved in.
/ June 6, 2022
Friday marked 32 years since communist Chinese troops converged on Tiananmen Square and slaughtered or wounded thousands of students who were rallying for democracy.
Since communist authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the Chinese mainland and are cracking down on anything regarded as dissent in Hong Kong, Taiwan's president has taken up the mantle of remembrance.
"I believe for all Taiwanese who are proud of their freedom and democracy, they will never forget about this day and will firmly stick with their faith, unshaken by challenges," Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday.
"We will also not forget about the young people who sacrificed themselves on Tiananmen Square on this day 32 years ago, and that year after year, friends in Hong Kong who always mourn June 4 with candlelight."
In a statement sent to Reuters, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the island's government was "smearing and attacking" China when it should be focused on fighting a spike in domestic COVID-19 cases.
“In the face of increasing coronavirus infections and death, this veil they are using to attack others is a bit too much.”
China claims the independent island nation of Taiwan as its own territory, to be taken by force if necessary.
Jianli Yang, a Tiananmen Massacre survivor and a former political prisoner of China, noted in a June 4 op-ed
for Newsweek: "I was near Tiananmen Square in the early morning on June 4, just as gunfire began. At one point, I was so close to the soldiers that I shouted to them in their trucks and told them not to shoot. We even sang songs that every Chinese knows, trying to touch their hearts. But when they received the order, they just opened fire. I saw many killed, including 11 students who were chased and run over by tanks on that fateful day."
Yang added: "In June 1989, Beijing's streets witnessed many Chinese like Tank Man, standing face-to-face with soldiers who were killing. Yet there were also some soldiers, like the second Tank Man and the deserter, who refused the Communist Party's orders.
"Remembering this, I am convinced that the natural desire for dignity and freedom are not only present among dissidents. They exist in everyone. This is also true of American politics. Because we are in different political camps, especially in a democracy, that does not mean we are sworn enemies. We must not lose sight of the fact that common sense and conscience can prevail in every heart, even under extreme circumstances."
Free Press International