tiananmen square, 19 years on

it is 19 years since the tanks rolled into tiananmen square in 1989, as part of the wider military crackdown on protests against authoritarian chinese governance.  the suppression of unfavourable commentary on the communist regime of the time resulted in the deaths of up to 3,000 individuals and the arrest and abuse of thousands of others, whose only crime was to exercise their human right to free speech.

the infamous image above sybolises the struggle faced by those seeking democracy in china, a struggle which continues today.  while beijing was awarded the 2008 olympic games in the hope that this would spur china into action in addressing the many human rights violations it is directly and indirectly involved in, it appears that little progress has been made.

at home, the chinese government rigorously censors internet users and arrests those who criticise the current regime or call for change.  shamefully, this censorship is supported by internet companies such as google and yahoo.  forced abortions and sterilisations continue, in line with the ‘one child’ policy.  capital punishment is escalating, with nearly 3,500 individuals executed in the last three years alone.  domestic and foreign workers are paid little and live in terrible conditions and religious freedom is paid lip service while any religious voice that speaks out against the government is silenced.

outside its borders, china’s support of abusive and corrupt regimes in darfur and myanmar further demonstrates the general distaste its communist government has for human rights.  furthermore, the effects of the invasion of tibet are still being felt with increasing suppression of tibetan culture and military aggression against peaceful protestors such as buddhist monks.

australia’s economic boom rests largely on this exploitation.  that new widescreen tv you bought is the result of the export of australian coal to china.  to wit, the australian government might think about using the reliance on our resources (not to mention our mandarin-speaking pm) to make some helpful suggestions to the chinese government, particularly in the lead up to the games.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on June 4, 2008.

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