On June 3-4, 1989, the troops opened fire on the students and others who had assembled in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to protest against the CCP regime.
June 4, 2020, marked the 31th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, when an estimated 10,000 people were “crushed” under the tanks of the Chinese Communist regime. Tiananmen came after a “reformist” policy had been adopted by the CCP following Chairman Mao’s death and the demise of the internal hardliners.
We now know that the “Tiananmen Massacre” was the point of no return for the Chinese regime, and the way it chose to avoid the fate of the Soviet Union and its satellite countries in Central and Eastern Europe. We also know that religions were specifically targeted by the CCP as conspiratorial forces against the Communist state, and hereafter harshly persecuted, hoping for their extinction.
Finally, we know that from that moment the CCP rulers have been officially trained to treat religions as their No.1 enemies. President Xi Jinping, in his delirium of Neo-post-communist omnipotence, is the most mature representative of the post-Tienanmen ruling elite.
On September 9, the Party honored and celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the birth of General Yang Baibing (1920–2013), who signed the order to shoot the students on Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Yang was not the only “butcher” of Tiananmen. He shared responsibility for issuing the fatal order with the then Minister of Public Security, Wang Fang (1920–2009). Yang and Wang happened to be born in the same year, 1920. The CCP celebrated the 100th anniversary of Wang’s birth, just as it did for Yang.
On September 30, the People’s Daily published the main speech of a symposium honoring Wang, delivered with “great reverence” by Politburo member Guo Shengkun, the secretary of the powerful Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CCP, and the former successor of Wang as Minister of Public Security between 2012 and 2017.
Guo called Wang “an outstanding leader of the public security political and legal front,” and stated that “the party and the people miss him deeply.”
Wang, Guo said, fought with Chairman Mao in the Civil War, then “shifted the focus of his work from the battlefield filled with gunpowder to the front line of public security defending the regime.”
Although implacable with the Party’s enemies, he found himself on the wrong side of the CCP internecine struggles during the Cultural Revolution, and was arrested. But, Guo said, Wang “always maintained a firm belief in the CCP and Communism.”
After the end of the “Cultural Revolution”, he was rehabilitated, and took his personal revenge as leader of the team who collected evidence against Mao’s widow, Jiang Qing (1914–1991). She had been the main instigator of the Cultural Revolution, although she maintained she had always followed her husband’s directives. Wang also acted as a prosecutor in Jiang’s trial in 1981.
He was then appointed as the CCP Secretary in the province of Zhejiang, and in 1987 became the national Minister of Public Security. In this capacity, Guo said,
“During the political turmoil at the turn of the spring and summer of 1989, he stood firm and clear-cut, resolutely supported the decisions and orders of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council, performed his duties conscientiously, and calmly directed the public security organs across the country to strengthen social control in order to achieve the goal. The victory in this struggle played an important role.
Today, Guo concluded, while we commemorate Comrade Wang Fang, we want to take him as an example, vigorously promote his fine style of seeking the truth and being pragmatic at the same time, working hard, being brave to act, and performing his duties faithfully. We should ensure that the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the important decisions and directives of the CCP Central Committee are fully implemented.”
The symposium demonstrated that the CCP still considers the 1989 events of Tiananmen as a “glorious victory,” and is grateful to those who organized and carried out the “massacre” of the students. They are regarded as a model to imitate “absolute obedience” to the CCP and ruthless repression of dissidents.
This is part of the general CCP approach to recent Chinese and world history, which is dominated by Xi Jinping’s continuous search for the causes of the fall of the Soviet Union, and how the Communist Party in China may avoid sharing the fate of its Soviet counterpart. While students were protesting in Tiananmen, Mikhail Gorbachev visited China, urging moderation and dialogue.
By not listening to the visiting Soviet leader, and dispatching men such as Wang Fang and Yang Baibing to kill some 10,000 students and other protesters, the CCP leadership, or so Xi Jinping believes, saved the Party from losing the power, and its leaders from ending up like Gorbachev. And, for the CCP, nothing is more important than preserving the power of the CCP.
In 2019, democratic countries celebrated the 20th anniversary of the carnage and mourned the victims, while the CCP kept an embarrassed silence. But now, in 2020, it would seem that the CCP is ready to go beyond silence, and celebrate the massacre as a “glorious victory.”
Although the CCP leadership was collectively responsible for the decision to shoot the unarmed students, it is known that there were different opinions within the Party. Who exactly took the responsibility to sign the order for the troops to shoot and kill was a matter of debate until 2004, when a three-hour documentary was produced by the CCP about the Tiananmen crackdown, and intended for view by Party cadres only.
But it was leaked to Hong Kong (then) independent media, which learned from the film that the order was signed by General Yang Baibing, who in 1989 was the Director of the People’s Liberation Army’s General Political Department.
Yang died on January 15, 2013. His body was cremated on January 21 at Beijing’s Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, and among those in attendance was Xi Jinping. He was 93, as he was born on September 9, 1920.
September 9, 2020 was the hundredth anniversary of his birth. The CCP celebrated him with a conference in Beijing, presided by Miao Hua, member of the Central Military Commission and director of the Political Work Department of the Military Commission, and attended by Zhao Leji, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and Zhang Youxia, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Zhang Youxia celebrated “the glorious life of Comrade Yang Baibing and his outstanding contributions to the party, the country, and the army.”
Yang Baibing was the half-brother of Yang Shangkun (1907–1998), who in 1989 had the title of President of China. After Tiananmen, Yang Shangkun and Yang Baibing purged the People’s Liberation Army from the officers who had criticized the crackdown on the students. Eventually, as is frequent in the history of the CCP, the Party became afraid that the “Yang family clique” was becoming too powerful, and the two half-brothers were purged in 1993.
That the CCP now celebrates the “Glorious Tiananmen Victory ” is another clear indication of a trend where under Xi Jinping the Party reconnects with the “bloodiest pages of its history”, and sends a message that “opposition” will not be tolerated, and an answer to those naïve Westerners who believe that the CCP “has changed since Tiananmen.”