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Once sailor, forever sailor

Friday, June 3, 2016

A day to forget: China’s massacre

Twenty-seven years ago tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square in Beijing and pro-democracy demonstrators were shot in the surrounding streets. The last known Tiananmen prisoner, Miao Deshun, is due for release later this year, but that does not mean the Communist Party has made its peace with the past. The killing of citizens by the People’s Liberation Army represents a fissure in modern Chinese history—but it is marked on the mainland only by the absence of commemoration. The police presence is heavy and internet speeds become glacial as filtering and monitoring intensify. Only in Hong Kong can the anniversary be observed, yet even there the candle is dimming. The “June 4th Museum” is being forced to move or close, probably under pressure from pro-China lobbyists. Interest in the annual public vigil is waning too: these days freedom-minded Hong Kongers have more pressing worries about the authorities in Beijing.

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