采访/常春 编辑/陈洁 后制/钟元
Chinese Activists Hold Commemoration to Mark 25 Years Since June 4 Incident
The third day of Chinese New Year is traditionally when
Chinese pay homage to the souls of relatives and friends.
On February 2, a public memorial took
place in Hua County, Henan Province.
This was to commemorate former Communist Party
General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, Hu Yaobang, as
well as victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
This also signalled the start of the 25th commemoration
of the June 4 massacre by the general Chinese public.
The memorial took place in Hua County,
Henan Province, where Zhao Ziyang was born.
A giant panel 6 meters long and 4 meters high,
representing June 4, was displayed at the memorial.
It displayed a scene of student protests in Tiananmen
Square, and pictures of Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang.
30 people from across China visited, including
two people from Zhao Ziyang’s hometown.
The memorial took place in temperatures
that were 13 degrees below zero Celsius.
Despite the bitter winds, the memorial
went on to attract hundreds of villagers.
Chen Wei, a former student movement leader
from Guangzhou, read out a memorial address
on behalf of the public memorial service.
Chen Wei: “We will not forget the
victims with the passage of time.
They are patriotic heroes as part of the
5,000 years of Chinese civilization history.
They are the outstanding representatives
of contemporary Chinese people.
People who devote and sacrifice for democracy and
freedom in the fight against corruption and authoritarianism.
Unfortunately, this was abruptly terminated
due to the gunfire in Tiananmen Square."
The memorial address called for
rectification for the June 4 massacre.
Chen Pokong, former scholar, Columbia University:
“It is a blow to the current leadership that they
commemorated activists and officials at the same time.
The June 4 student movement was about
anti-corruption, calling for democracy and patriotism.
China today still faces the problem
of corruption, and has become worse."
Yu Shiwen was also an organizer of the memorial service.
Yu Shiwen told Voice of America that the Chinese
authorities didn’t obstruct or interfere with the activities.
They did have plainclothes police surveillance in the vicinity.
Chen Pokong points out that current leader
Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun, was a faithful
follower of Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang.
The public memorial is hoped to resolve the
impasse between the regime and the people.
Chen Pokong: “I think the NGO represented by
Chen Wei and Yu Shiwen have taken a bold initiative.
They hope to make a breakthrough to solve these
diehard problems in China, such as the June 4 incident."
However, Yu Shiwen indicated that even though the authorities
did not interfere with their memorial activities, it does not mean
the suppression of pro-democracy movement and dissidents
have been relaxed,
but rather that the new leadership has a different way of thinking.
It is understood that last year Chen Wei and Yu Shiwen had
held a public memorial service for the June 4th victims at
Zhengding County, Hebei Province where Xi Jinping started
his political career.
After the memorial, Yu Shiwen was detained for 24 hours for
New Citizens’ Movement activist Zhao Changqing was also
arrested soon after the memorial service.
Events commemorating the 25th anniversary of
June 4 have also taken place outside of China.
At New Year, activists from New York, Taipei and Beijing
started a hunger strike, as part of a ‘World Siege’ campaign.
Professor Emeritus Stephen Levine from
the University of Montana launched a
petition on the White House Website.
The petition, “Calls For Recognition
Of Tiananmen Massacre Victims."
Chen Pokong: “Even though it’s been a quarter
of a century, the Tiananmen incident provides
an obvious distinction between good and evil.
The Chinese people and the students were
demanding democracy and anti-corruption.
This is the opposite of dictatorship
and corruption of the regime officials.
The massacre of defenseless people
conducted by officials is clearly wrong.
People are hoping for peace and justice
in resolving the Tiananmen incident."
Chen Pokong further suggests that after
25 years, the officials who were stained with
blood during June 4 have nearly all retired.
People hope the current leaders will face up to
that period of history, and provide some resolution.
However, Zhao Ziyang’s secretary Bao Tong
has recently been restricted by the authorities.
Yang Jianli was a participant in the 1989 student protests.
Yang Jianli told Voice of America that 25 years
later, the Chinese authorities still fear any
voices that are outspoken about June 4.
This suggests that it is an issue of the system, and similar
problems will continue as long as that system remains.
Interview/ChangChun Edit/ChenJie Post-Production/ZhongYuan