June 06, 2007

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The problem of history

The Chinese Communist Party does it's very best to limit all news and views on the events of June 4th, 1989. But not teaching history can have its consequences...not merely in the (in)famous Marixsm that it is repeated as farce, but in the law of unintended consequences too. The SCMP (new site, still unlinkable and not even working today) reports:

A young woman unaware of the June 4 Tiananmen crackdown is believed to have let an advertisement saluting the mothers of students killed in and around the central Beijing square make its way into a Chengdu newspaper, highlighting the national collective amnesia about the events of 18 years ago.
To be fair, it's hard to call it "collective amnesia" when the government doesn't let its citizens know where there is to forget.
Two sources with connections to the Chengdu Evening News, which ran the controversial 13 character classified adverstisement on Monday, said the woman, who worked for an advertising company responsible for the newspaper's classified section, was in charge of receiving content from clients.

A man visited the copmany on May 30 and the woman took down the advertisement - which read "Saluting the adamanat Tiananmen Mothers" - from the client without knowledge of the June 4 crackdown, the sources said.

"She called the man back two days later to check what June 4 meant and the man said it was [a date that] a mining disaster took place," one source said. The woman's age was not known but the source said she had just graduate from school.

Now I don't know what they teach in Chinese schools, but there aren't too many mines around Tiananmen square.

Still, the whole story leaves the question as to how Beijing deals with a new generation who know nothing of Tiananmen. Is ignorance always bliss?

posted by Simon on 06.06.07 at 09:19 AM in the China category.


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Ohhh...they remember. They just don't talk about it. But, they remember.

posted by: GZ Expat on 06.07.07 at 06:17 AM [permalink]

Here's what my government's "official narrative" about our own "massacre":

"Kent State anti-war students' revolt"

Here's what Kent State teaches about it, again no "massacre":


posted by: Charles Liu on 06.07.07 at 09:36 AM [permalink]

Personally I'm convinced everybody called Simon is a lout.


posted by: Simon on 06.07.07 at 08:29 PM [permalink]

Actually, the English translation of the ad is inaccurate. The Chinese version made no mention of "Tiananmen Square Mothers", only of those mothers whose children died in the June 4th incident. 向坚强的64遇难者母亲致敬

posted by: guest on 06.23.07 at 03:21 PM [permalink]

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