During this course I have been studying communist China. This piece of coursework will look at the Tiennaman square massacre. The events that lead to the massacre from both the student and governments perspectives.
The world opinion today on the massacre and how all these views have changed over time. There are many different views on the massacre.There is the governments the students and foreign nations views I personally see it as to extreme the government brush the massacre aside and praise it saying it was for the good of China Retaliation against the evils of the west (the equivalent to today’s view on Islam and Muslims) This is a over the top statement but the C. C. P (Chinese communist party) had little choice they had been shown up in front of the media and were being made to seem weak and they cannot condemn the massacre as this would show a lack of conviction. The other extreme is the student point of view (This was probably closer to the truth than the government views) the massacre was entirely the fault of the government they no doubt consider the government to be evil ands feel deprived and devastated and would say the attack was totally unprovoked.The foreign view especially Britain and America is most interesting the governments of these nations find themselves in a difficult position whilst they have to condemn the massacre there is nothing they can do they also don’t want to seem to critical as war with China by this point would have been unthinkable potentially leading to the elimination of the human race. There are several long term reasons for the massacre one of the most important from the C.
C. P s point of view the survival of communism was to them more important than anything to give in to the protesters would have been unthinkable as this would have lead to the collapse of communism in China which they could not allow.A quote to back this up would be “There is no way we can retreat retreat means that the peoples republic is other thrown and that the evils of capitalisms would be restored” This quote from a leading C. C. P official tells us that from there point of view that nothing else matters so long as China remains communist another quote to back this point up would be “In China even one million people can be considered a small sum” this again shows the extraordinary lengths the C. C. P were willing to go to too enforce communist rule.
Another long term explanation for the massacre was the C. C. P s sense of immortality there was little the world could do about the massacre they would still go on trading with China why they we had done before shouldn’t.A quote to support this point would be “The old men will not take seriously the west’s protests” The C. C. P also believed the same would happen with the people as history showed on several occasion similar things had happened the people would be worked into a frenzy go to far and be stopped eventually often forcefully and in all cases Speck Bitterness, Cultural Revolution and the Democracy Wall the people would move on and so on there was no reason for the government to think that this would be any different.The final long term cause from the government’s point of view was the introduction of certain western ideas into China.
The four Modernisations were seen as necessary to aid the development of China these influences begin to make people wonder why if they were being allowed all these western things and western ideas that they had been told were evil made them thing that what they had been told about democracy was a lie as well.However Dung refused to give in saying that despite there being some good things about the west Democracy was not one of them Deng strongly beloved democracy was a disuse that could not be allowed to spread. A quote to show this would be “When you open a window you let the flies in as well as the fresh air” Deng was referring to democracy as the flies that needed to be swatted and wiped out.
There were also two short term causes that lead to the massacre the first and arguable the most important of all was the visit of Gorbochov and more importantly the media presence he brought with him.Deng already 84 could not afford to be made look a weak old and fragile he had to stamp out the protests to silence his critics within the government he needed to show to the world that he was still in control of China. A quote to support this is ” This also gave Deng a chance to show he was still in power” The second course I fell is almost irrelevant and more a justification than a cause the C. C.
P Clamed that they acted in self defence against student thugs and whilst it is likely some soldiers would have been heart this was probably just the C. C. P looking for a justification for the attack I fell the attack would have gone ahead regardless.
The main long term cause for the massacre from the student point of view would be the four modernisations. When Dung came to power he realised that China would need to introduce some new ideas to progress China further western ideas Deng called these the four modernisations.These changes allowed the Chinese people to finally see hear and experience the world outside of China once this had began the Chinese people began to see that it was not the western democratic world that was collapsing but the communist they begin to realise that the C.
C. P and Dung were simply tyrants dictators and learnt that in the past nations had removed leaders through popular protest armed with this and the conviction they were doing the right thing lead to Tiennaman Square.A quote to support this would be “The Chinese students took to the streets armed only with there conviction” The major short term cause for the massacre was the visit of Gorbochov the man who had reformed the soviet union he had made changes to the eastern Bloc similar to those the Chinese people wanted maid hear plus far more importantly with his arrival came the world press the students know thought they were immune and that the government wouldn’t possible attack them with the world watching also it was a way of spreading there message all over the world.A quote to support this point would be “The visit of Gorbachev to Beijing encouraged the students to continue there protest for the benefit of the world media” There were varied reactions to the massacre all around the world.
In the U. K the government were quick to condemn the attack but at the same time were panicking as we had just agreed for Hong Kong to be given back to China. There was a similar reaction in Hong Kong there was a lot of anger and fear spread over the attack.However not all countries reacted in the same way the Russian TV stations only said a number of people had been killed in China there was very little information and the whole matter was hushed this was because Russia at the time was still communist and its government did not want to let its people see the fallings in China. Over time the massacre has faded into the past people have moved on got on with there lives Deng is now dead and China is still communist(technically) and with time the views on the massacre have changed.The British still see the event as a tragedy and are very quick to condemn the massacre but try to avoid the matter. The people of Hong Kong still fell very strongly on the massacre and cannot forgive and forget and each year on the anniversary of the massacre they light candles to remember those who died.
The Chinese government see the attack as a thing of the past something to forget historical baggage that the people need to move on past yet there is still a strong felling of sadness and resentment amongst the people about the massacre those cannot forget.We will never no the truth the C. C. P will never turn around and say they were wrong never were the students I personally fell that the students were right for wanting a form of politics that has been proven to work abroad the sad fact that China is slowly realising is that whilst in theory communism is a fantastic idea the man how dreamed it up forgot the nature of humans communism is a dream, that will never work.This has now dawned on China who are now really only communist by name and the lack of democracy yet many very difficult problems still face China today.
This coursework was very difficult to do because of the limited nature of reliable sources the sources we did have were unreliable as the journalists had little accesses to the C. C. P and for the same reason we had less sources than we needed.