A statement on the 1989 June 4 Incident

The Power and History of China has always been in its people.

The Power and History of China has always been in its people.

As a blog of Chinese traditions in the modern context, it becomes unbearably obvious and imperative that the issue of the June 4 incident be addressed. As we enter the  20th year since the failed democratic demonstration movement, and although China has come a long way to what it is today, lest us forget the long and painful process of this development.

The student movement of 1989 had a vision of equality and freedom of expression, with the causus temporalis as to have the government retract a statement on an editorial, printed on the People’s Daily on April 26, 1989 “a small segment of opportunistic people [students]” plot on unrest [rather than commemorating the death of Hu Yaobang], and took to the streets of Beijing. The proactive spirit of university students and their sense of mission is to be honoured, and should be a role model to us all, especially those who are at their early-20s and studying to become the pillars of the nation.

Mistakes and mis-decisions, regardless of who makes it, must bear upon the consequences of its result. The People’s Republic today has undoubtedly adapted to the people much more than had there been no student movement in the late spring, early summer of 1989, and the people have become today less adamant on the forms of state than its effectiveness and solving matters of practicality. However, there is no group more sensitive to the issues of the people than the people themselves, and the “Mandate of Heaven” for any state is to “obey the Heavens and agree with the people”. Lest we the people silence ourselves, and indulge in personal gain over the sight of greater good and natural justice.

Similarly, the Hanfu movement has started under the pretext of a misportrayal of the Han people and its culture. Wang Letian took to the streets in shenyi and zhaoshan to correct this mistake, and many others are now joining the line as vocalized by him in unison to seek justice over this. In fear of accusing the so-called “Han-chauvinism”, some promoters have taken into promoting it simply as a “beautiful clothing from the past/of the Han ethnic tradition” – to this, my personal statement is simply the following: History is the story of human imperfection, trying to seek a greater good nonetheless. If we have a mistake, we should swiftly correct ourselves. We may have doubts, but if one has to distort truth for the sake of consideration of current situations or benefits, then that is not the Natural truth. Correct it, now!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Chenxing
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 10:54:46

    I totally agree with your last statement.

    Most peers i met, surprisingly, held a very similar point of view as the one came from the official, they have a strange way of reasoning— “大局” (or the view with further and greater perspective which consider the longterm benefit). Under the names of this they disregard humanity, cultural-heritage, freedom etc. I don’t think we as general public would really know what actually took place 20 years ago; after all, if we ignore the “student leaders”, those crowd who dead with a great love towards the land and nation, otherwise there wouldn’t be the “tank man”.

    About the Hanfu, although Han Chauvinism is not acceptable, Han has to be the dominant culture anyway. I don’t think China, as a country with such a long Han-descendent history, can really create a new culture that include all different ethnicities into the majority society. Japan have Yamato culture as the mainstream and marginal Okinawan and Ainu, even the U.S. or Canada has their dominant culture that all immigrants and first nations must assimilate to get public recognition (Although Canadian government would not admit this).

    Anyway, may all those who sacrificed rest in peace.


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