Thirty-two years later, the Chinese communist regime is still attempting to bury the memory of the June 4 massacre, censoring all mentions, imprisoning outspoken dissenters, and keeping younger generations unaware of what occurred that night.
Much of the world is aware that on June 4, 1989, the communist regime’s leader dispatched troops to quell protesting students calling for a more open society in Tiananmen Square, the heart of the capital Beijing, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Chinese students. Censorship, however, persists in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled territory.
On May 31, Chen Siming, who posted a photo commemorating the bloody event, was sentenced to 15 days in administrative detention by authorities in Zhuzhou, Hunan’s southern province.
Chen has spent years commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. On June 4, 2018, he was arrested for taking photos in a park with a tank in the background.
“I have been detained four times since 2017, three times for memorising the Fourth of July,” Chen said in a tweet on May 30. “However, I still want to remember the most important day in modern history, which is a citizen’s responsibility.”
Huang Xiaomin, a supporter of the student-led pro-democratic movement, is being held in detention, according to his daughter, for “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” a common charge used by the CCP to silence critics, according to the Weiquanwang blog.
The reason is still unknown, according to Huang’s friend, surnamed Xie, who told The Epoch Times in an interview that local authorities summoned Huang on the phone while he was having tea with Huang on May 28.
Meanwhile, in southwestern China, another outspoken dissident has gone missing. Yang Shaozheng’s wife has not communicated with him in over two weeks, according to his friend Yang Zili, who told NTD on May 31.
Yang Shaozheng, a former economics professor who was fired for criticising the CCP in 2018, has been summoned by authorities several times, according to Yang Zili, a friend and fellow activist. Yang’s wife believes he is being held by the authorities, according to the friend.
Another activist from southwestern Sichuan Province told The Epoch Times that police arrived at his home on Thursday and warned him to remain silent on June 4 and July 1, the ruling CCP’s anniversary days. An activist in Beijing, who also prefers not to be identified, told The Epoch Times that local authorities advised him to travel to other cities on June 4 and July 1.
Censorship has kept references to Tiananmen Square off the Chinese internet and out of students’ history books, including the name of the regime’s then-top leader, Zhao Ziyang.
Many young Chinese have grown up unaware of the atrocity that occurred 32 years ago, as teachers are afraid of touching sensitive topics defined by the CCP. It is not permitted for state-controlled media outlets to report on it. When asked by Western journalists, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson only described it as a “political disturbance.”
A middle school teacher in Hunan Province, surnamed Huang, admitted that young people in mainland China have become apathetic as a result of widespread information censorship.
“The younger generation is preoccupied with money, good wine, savoury dishes, and having a good time. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Huang stated, “They are indulging in Douyin on the phone.” Douyin is a popular social media platform in China, and it is TikTok’s sister app.
“They don’t have such ideas about equality and justice. They only want to have fun, “Huang explained.
The growing lie-down movement among young Chinese people—a careless attitude toward work, career, marriage, friendships, child-rearing, and consumerism—has become a source of consternation for the authorities.