There is reason enough to recall the Tiananmen Square massacre with dismay and a more cautious strategic policy regarding China as the road not taken, says Paul Monk, (above), a former head of the China desk in the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and the author of Thunder from the Silent Zone: Rethinking China (2005) and Dictators and Dangerous Ideas (2018). But there is more to the picture than misgivings about the CCP’s domestic hyper-authoritarianism, geopolitical ambitions and relentless subversion of the Pax Americana, he writes for The Australian:
As Hong Kong-based scholar Jiwei Ci argues, in Democracy in China: The Coming Crisis (Harvard, 2019), the party is headed for a massive and destabilising legitimation crisis. Why? Because Chinese society has become “democratic” (educated and sophisticated), while the CCP has become fearfully authoritarian.
We could end up with the worst of all possible worlds: the breakdown of order and economic growth in China; the failure of that great country to fulfil its possibilities as a trusted and admired modern state alongside the rest of us; and open conflict. The great hope of the 1980s — and the basis for holding our peace after June 4, 1989, and clinging to hope for responsible political reform and opening for 30 years — was the fulfilment of China’s economic and political possibilities.
- On last year’s 30th anniversary, the National Endowment for Democracy’s Shanthi Kalathil testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on the evolution of repression in China. [Read the transcript and watch the hearing.]
- At the 2019 Democracy Awards, Carl Gershman noted how the Tiananmen massacre changed modern history and closed off the possibility of democracy for the foreseeable future in the world’s largest country. [Read the remarks and watch the video.]
- Here’s why NED gives a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue from Tiananmen Square to the Democracy Award recipients each year. [Read more.]
- Read how the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 continue to inspire Hong Kong’s ongoing struggle for democracy in the Journal of Democracy.
- Watch a discussion on how the CCP’s repressive tactics have grown more sophisticated and pervasive since the Tiananmen Square crackdown. [Watch the video.]
- Don’t miss the coverage on Democracy Digest, including articles focused on the Uyghur cause, the ongoing struggle for democracy in Hong Kong, and the latest news on the rejected application for this week’s vigil.
- Hong Kong activists are asking for support for a virtual day of mourning tomorrow. World Movement for Democracy has the details on how to participate.
- Democracy Digest shared info for a Hong Kong Watch webinar this morning (10:00, 6/3) and an online candlelight vigil tonight.