Tuesday 25th June 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Tiananmen Square… Remembering Or Rationalizing?

June 11, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By JOHN J. METZLER

UNITED NATIONS — We all remember where we were when the Tiananmen Square crackdown occurred. I recall a Friday evening episode of the TV program Dallas being interrupted as the news switched live to Beijing. Only moments later, Chinese police forced their way into the CBS News transmission trailer and shut down the broadcast.
The Tiananmen Square demonstrations in the heart of the Chinese capital were ending in a chaotic bloodbath. Hundreds if not a few thousand unarmed pro-democracy protesters were killed that bloody night in Beijing. The world watched in horror as the comfortable stereotypes of a “changed China” were suddenly smashed as China was brutally thrust back to the sanguinary Maoist era, all on live TV.
A BBC report spoke of “unremitting gunfire” and the “savagery of the situation.” The image of Tank Man, the fellow who bravely stood before and stopped the column of tanks, remains an iconic epitaph.
Recall that Tiananmen was not a singular event, but the bloody climax of an evolving six-week process of demonstrations and discussions, bitter debate inside the Communist Party, until the final military crackdown. Initially the protests were not “pro-democracy” but “anti-corruption” against the hopelessly geriatric and corrupt Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The images of the Goddess of Democracy and anti-Communist protests we recall came later as the students became radicalized after being shunned, spurned, and then shot by their government.
But troops and police from Beijing were assumed to be fraternizing with and too friendly toward their fellow Chinese to be able to fire upon them on command. Thus the regime rotated garrisons from rural areas into the capital to come and teach the students a tough lesson. As with the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, what initially appeared to be a Soviet pullback was actually a foreboding lull before a massive counterattack by loyal untainted forces.
The sequence vividly portrayed the inherent rigidity of the CCP as well as its willingness to use brutal force to enforce its control.
Western moods swung from revulsion over the bloody events to a rationalization that a reforming China would still somehow go “our way” toward becoming an open society with free markets.
Indeed, the economy has been booming, but exhibits the hallmarks of crony capitalism or, less politely, the corporate state.
But as June 1989 turned to summer and then autumn, some Western countries offered tough rhetorical rebukes to the Beijing regime at the UN General Assembly session, but at the same time balanced their moral revolution with realpolitik.
Yet given its haunting paranoia over the June 4 pro-democracy protests, China’s Orwellian propaganda apparat has largely airbrushed Tiananmen from contemporary history. Officially it never happened.
Back during Tiananmen, news spread fast. Foreign TV crews encamped on the huge plaza for weeks, and fax machines, the newest and fastest way to speed information, were commonplace. Indeed, people were watching worldwide, as the CCP, after bitter internal infighting, solved the problem the old-fashioned way and sent in the tanks. Premier Li Peng’s hardliners triumphed on that day.
Yet censoring Tiananmen’s bloody memories out of the population’s consciousness was due less to the regime’s propaganda than to the government’s overdue focus on socioeconomic reforms. Despite the CCP’s authoritarian credentials, the government has delivered on its economic promises and lifted a huge number of people out of abject poverty. As important, reforms created a middle class, which was unimaginable even in 1989. Yes, part of the cost has been massive pollution and environmental degradation but China is no longer the poor country it once was.
In a sense, after Tiananmen’s horror, the Deng Xiaoping regime and subsequent rulers bought off the Chinese people with a better lifestyle and opportunities at the cost of political freedom.
Consider for a moment the two-way trade between the U.S. and China in 1989 and contrast it with the current numbers. Back in 1989 bilateral trade with China was $18 billion in which the U.S. ran a $6.2 billion deficit with China. In 2018, two-way trade reached $659 billion, while the U.S. was running a $419 billion deficit with the People’s Republic!
But Washington’s political ties with Beijing since Tiananmen have never been quite the same. The false optimism over China policy in general, shared by both Democrat and Republican administrations, always faces new surprises and old challenges.
Chairman Xi Jinping’s current rule has redoubled political repression and pulled the oxygen out of spirited debate. Tiananmen’s story may be taboo but its ghosts remain; we must remember, not rationalize, that day in June.

+ + +

(John J. Metzler is a United Nations correspondent covering diplomatic and defense issues. He is the author of Divided Dynamism: The Diplomacy of Separated Nations: Germany, Korea, China.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

As one shepherd I encourage all faithful lay Catholics to continue to pray & speak up for the truth expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Let this truth be your guide. Pray that priests & bishops will speak against any who teach false doctrines that contradict truth.

Load More...

Rosary Rally in Reparation for Homosexual and Transgender Grooming of Kids in “Drag Queen Story Hour” at Public Library in Md

A small group ranging from ten to 15 LGBTQ-obedient bots danced and played loud gay anthems like “YMCA” and “We are Family”, and holding a sign which read “Toleration is Godly”, sequestered behind yellow tape on one side of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Rosary Rally Sunday to Protest Maryland Drag Queen Story Time for Kids

Personhood Maryland is asking pro-life Christians to gather at the Lexington Park Library for a peaceful prayer vigil on Sunday, June 23rd from 3:30-5:30 pm Eastern to stand against the Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) and Drag 101 event scheduled…Continue Reading

Supreme Court rules WW1 Peace Cross memorial is here to stay

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 this morning in favor of a nearly 100-year-old World War I memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, known as the “Peace Cross,” allowing it to remain standing.…Continue Reading

Vatican’s doctrinal office expected to release document on gender theory

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s doctrinal office is preparing a document which will address Church teaching and the anthropology of the human person in the context of so-called gender theory, according to a Vatican…Continue Reading

Illinois bishops oppose abortion law, disagree on Communion for pro-choice lawmakers

Baltimore, Md., Jun 14, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- While two Illinois bishops are unified in their strong opposition to the state’s new abortion law, they differ on the question of prohibiting to receive Holy Communion the Catholic state legislators…Continue Reading

‘The Decalogue’ for Nuncios (Pope Francis’ Full Address to Meeting of Papal Representatives)

The following is a ZENIT working full English translation of the discourse Pope Francis prepared and delivered today, June 13, 2019, to all the Papal Representatives, meeting in the Vatican from June 12 – 15,  2019: **** Dear Brethren, I’m…Continue Reading

Vatican rejects idea that people can ‘choose one’s gender’

The Vatican on Monday released an official document that rejects the idea that a transgender person has the right to “choose one’s gender,” according to reports. The Washington Post reported that the Catholic Church said in the document that the right to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell awaits verdict after prosecutor stumbles in appeal hearing

June 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The two-day hearing in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal before the Victorian Court of Appeal against his conviction for alleged child sex abuse in Melbourne, Australia, in the 1990s ended Thursday with a positive impression for the defense.…Continue Reading

Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis announces synod

St. Paul, Minn., Jun 7, 2019 / 06:04 pm (CNA).- Minnesota’s largest diocese will hold a synod— a meeting designed to help the bishop shepherd his local flock— during Pentecost Weekend 2021, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced yesterday. It will be the…Continue Reading

Jerry Falwell, Jr., Rev. Kevin Cusick and the Satanic War Against Sex

Some entity or other doesn’t want me writing. First, my carpal tunnel has flared up something fierce. It hurts me to pet the beagles, much less to peel them off the dirty plates they’re licking inside the dishwasher. My favorite…Continue Reading

Biden Buckles, Flips on Hyde Amendment Under Pressure From Democrats

Former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment Thursday after facing intense backlash from within his own party. Biden, while speaking in Atlanta, first reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade

Biden names pro-LGBT ‘Equality Act’ as top priority if elected

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Passing the radical pro-LGBT and pro-abortion Equality Act “will be the first thing I ask to be done” if elected president, Joe Biden said at the annual Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday. The…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Cdl. Burke: Relaxing priestly celibacy for Amazon region would affect universal Church

ROME, June 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke is challenging recent assertions made by Amazon Synod organizers, saying “it is not honest” to suggest that the October meeting is “treating the question of clerical celibacy for that region alone.” “If [the synod] takes up the question, which I do not think it is right for it to do, it will be treating a discipline of the universal Church,” Cardinal Burke told LifeSiteNews on June…Continue Reading

Indianapolis archbishop revokes Jesuit prep school’s Catholic identity

Indianapolis, Ind., Jun 20, 2019 / 01:49 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Indianapolis announced Thursday that a local Jesuit high school will no longer be recognized as a Catholic school, due to a disagreement about the employment of a teacher who attempted to contract a same-sex marriage. “All those who minister in Catholic educational institutions carry out an important ministry in communic

Archbishop Viganò clarifies points arising from new interview

ROME, June 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In the wake of two recent pieces in the Washington Post relating to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an article and an extended interview (the first the archbishop has granted since his initial allegations concerning Pope Francis), renewed insinuations and smears have been directed at the former diplomat of the Holy See. In his June 10 interview, the archbishop claims that the actions so far taken against McCarrick are chiefly…Continue Reading

Pope backs carbon pricing to stem global warming and appeals to deniers

Carbon pricing, via taxes or emissions trading schemes, is used by many governments to make energy consumers pay for the costs of using the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming * Pope Francis tells top energy executives to act now * Pontiff urges world to heed scientific findings

U.S Bishops Approve the Revised Passage on the Death Penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the revised passage on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults. The full body of bishops approved the revised passage by a vote of 194 to 8 with 3 abstentions at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-14. On August 2, 2018, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Holy Father’s revision to the teaching on the…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Collective Achievement… Reconstruction And Notre Dame

By JUDE DOUGHERTY “A Gothic cathedral is a collective achievement, the outcome of countless craftsmen working across the centuries toward a common goal. It is not the arena for idiosyncratic personal expression,” so wrote Michael J. Lewis in a timely essay. (1) Something similar may be said of an intellectual tradition that was being formed…Continue Reading

Memo To Youth Ministers… Stop Preaching Self-Esteem

By ARTHUR HIPPLER (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.) + + + Many forms of outreach to Catholic young people want to get them fired up about the faith. They give an example of enthusiasm by which they hope…Continue Reading

Why Moral Values Are Disappearing

By DONALD DeMARCO Benjamin Franklin, among his numerous contributions to civilization, bequeathed to the world a stream of deathless aphorisms: A penny saved is a penny earned; time lost is never found again; nothing is certain save death and taxes; there was never a good war, or a bad peace; honesty is the best policy.…Continue Reading

War With Iran Would Become “Trump’s War”

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran. Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world’s seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump’s reelection. It would widen the “forever war,” which…Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court . . . Reverses Oregon’s Decision To Punish Bakers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a victory for Sweet Cakes Bakery and Melissa and Aaron Klein, on June 17 the U.S. Supreme Court sent their case back to the Oregon Court of Appeals in light of the June 2018 decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. Sweet Cakes by Melissa v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Doing God’s Will Is Perfect Freedom

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21 Gal. 5:1, 13-18 Luke 9:51-62 In the second reading today, St. Paul tells us we were called for freedom, but then he says we are not to use this freedom for the flesh, but to serve one another through love. Normally we would think…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Week In Review

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “For as those rich dishes cannot be eaten without salt, so this simple virtue may be adorned with the glory and honor of different virtues, but if a man lack the love of God and of his neighbor, he is wholly worthless and contemptible” — St. Ephrem the Deacon. The website Canon 212 strove mightily…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I asked my parish priest if one can be a conscientious objector with respect to paying taxes when your government uses your money for things antithetical to your belief system, such as giving money to Planned Parenthood. Before he gave me what I thought was a good answer, he wanted to know if I had gone to a Jesuit…Continue Reading

The Barbarians Have Won

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner has contributed numerous columns to The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, and The Wanderer. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. This is a two-part article. Part one appeared in last week’s issue.) IV. The Church has long taught lex orandi, lex credendi (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church,…Continue Reading

God’s Greatest Gift To Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of Corpus Christi (YR C) Readings: Gen. 14:18-20 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Luke 9:11b-17 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift and the greatest treasure we possess on Earth. God has given us many great gifts, but the Eucharist is God Himself! It is such a marvelous mystery that the whole universe cannot contain God, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Anchieta

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the delta of the Benevente River on the coast of Brazil lies the city of Anchieta. With a population of 30,000, it is about 200 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Famous for its long sandy beaches, Anchieta houses the Espirito Santo state government offices which overlook the Atlantic Ocean. More than four centuries old, this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat

By CAROLE BRESLIN The end of the 18th century in France was a time of persecution for the Catholic Church with many priests and religious driven from convents and rectories, and others put to death. As more and more priests were martyred, the Church searched for good young men to replace them. In the history of the Church, there have…Continue Reading