It was June 4 again. Like it is carried, the
world carried intense debates and coverage over what happened on this day 26
years ago. Like China has always done since June 4, 1989, it did this as well,
suppressing the voices on mainland, while trying to find ways to scuttle the
Hong Kong protests that have become an annual feature.
Yes, if any symbolic Chinese element is present
in the protests over Tiananmen Massacre (or incident, a political incident
China would rather like to its people to believe), it is the annual Hong Kong
vigil, organized to remember the victims of Tiananmen Massacre in Beijing’s
iconic public square, a large arena.
China has, so far, been able to effectively
killed democracy on the mainland and Tiananmen is its living proof and will
remain so for the world. The autocracy has done it so successfully that
majority of the Chinese now, including majority of its millennial generation
born in good times of economic surge believe that Chinese politicians are
taking right steps as a New York Times survey study finds.
Their concern is more of financial in nature than
political and that is the success story of communist party of China so far.
Chinese rulers know they will face problems from a slowing economy first. If
any hope of democracy has to find its voice in China again, it will be only
after the economy has failed, leading to increased poverty levels and a large impoverished
class. That looks a far-fetched conclusion given the economic indicators now.
Even if China is slowing down, it is slated to be
the world’s second largest economy. Also, the country will have the maximum
share of the middle class population groups by 2021.
It is a large market for the world community to
ignore, led by America and other rich and developed nations.
China knows it and exploits the gains suppressing
democratic voices ruthlessly on the mainland. It is one of the compromises in
China the world community is making.
And its efforts are reaching to Hong Kong now,
the only vocal Chinese participation from China for hopes of democracy in the
country. China is trying to undermine the democratic voices of Hong Kong
targeting subtly the generation behind events like June 4 vigil or July 1
marches every year.
It is trying to do that by exporting mainland
system on Hong Kong. Long duration protests were held last year against the
Beijing decision to install a puppet pro-Beijing panel for 2017 Hong Kong
elections using universal suffrage for the first time. All candidates who will
be in fray will be pro-Beijing (chosen by them) and universal suffrage will be
joke in that case. Protesters were demanding full democracy in the matter that,
as expected, they did not get. After
all, Xi Jinping is being referred to as the strongest Chinese President since
Mao Zedong in the global media and it has to have its designs all over,
including Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was under Britain for many decades and
was handed over to China in 1997 with many conditions including preserving political
and economic structure of the city state under ‘one country, two systems’.
China knows it cannot employ its mainland tactics
here. China knows it cannot take the risk of subverting the agreement openly
and ruthlessly suppress the voices of democracy in Hong Kong. But it can always
do so, subtly and clandestinely, with ways like trying to changes text-books
with mainland design or denying the people of Hong Kong to choose their own
For the moment, Hong Kong stood once again with
the world, especially the global media, on June 4, to remember the democratic victims
of an autocratic China, hoping to withstand the Chinese might to demand genuine
I am sharing some of the images of the vigil
protest by the media here giving due courtesy to the agencies.
|Image courtesy: Dale De La Rey-AFP-Getty Images|
Image courtesy: Getty Images
Image courtesy: Vincet Yu-AP
Image courtesy: Bobby Yip-Reuters
Image Courtesy: WSJ