West hypes false Tiananmen death toll

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/24 23:15:31

A file of Britain's National Archives, declassified in October, revealed an assessment of casualties from June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square made by Alan Donald, the UK's then ambassador to China. Donald quoted a former member of the Chinese State Council as saying that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the incident.

The remark was covered by Hong Kong media and then widely quoted by Western media.

Yet it must be pointed out that this disclosed document is extremely unreliable. The Western media is keen on any materials that attack the Chinese government. Therefore, no matter how incredible the report is, foreign forces will likely hype it up.

After the June 4 incident, information about the events of that day were  chaotic.

Some government officials at that time were deeply influenced by Western thoughts. It is thus easy for them to spread rumors about the Chinese government to the world.

It is impossible that tens of thousands of protesters were killed when a country was quelling an unarmed disturbance. It defies common sense. There has never been such a case in the world. The riot in Tiananmen Square was put down by the army within a short time. There could be no chance for that many casualties in such a conflict.

A majority of protesters were students. Those from various colleges and universities had informed each other of the actual situation and deaths were rare, individual cases.

External forces have been propagating the falsehood that thousands were killed. The latest number given by the British document is even higher. But the official count found the number of casualties in the hundreds.

This figure is closer to the experience of the students who were in Beijing at that time. An investigation by the mother of a dead student confirmed 188 civilian deaths. That figure is far fewer than 10,000.

After the incident, the Chinese government has adopted an attitude of not debating, no matter how the West commented on it. The attitude of China helped the country soon walk away from the crisis and realize rapid development.

Most of the students who were involved in the episode later contributed to China's development and became backbones in all walks of life. In ensuing years, they saw the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the civil wars in Yugoslavia and the decay of quite a few countries in Eastern Europe. But China thrives, which made them rethink the Tiananmen incident.

Those who are still hyping up the episode have either moved overseas or have never actually seen what happened in person, but take the incident as a symbol of anti-China sentiment.

They cannot represent how mainstream Chinese society regards the incident.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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