November 1989 marked the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, when thousands of Germans brought down the Berlin Wall—the most visible symbol of the Cold War, built by communists to separate East and West Berlin.

The year 1989 also marked an outstanding event in which the communist Party chose a bloody crackdown to maintain its rule in China.

On June 4, 1989, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ordered the People’s Liberation Army to massacre its own citizens, many of whom were students and intellectuals.

In recent days, the public and the world media once again looked back at the horrific killing, which is also known as the “Six-Four Event.”

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The state media first said there were only 23 counterrevolutionary thugs and hooligans killed. The low number seemed to good to be true, even in a country that has the largest propaganda system, and so the number soon rose to 300.

Western estimates had first put the number somewhere between the upper hundreds and a few thousands. A secret diplomatic cable from then British ambassador to China revealed the death toll was at least 10,000, according to BBC.

‘200,000 deaths for 20 years of stability’

Before the massacre, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tiananmen Square in May 1989 and calling for democracy, CCP leader Deng Xiaoping said, “(We would) kill 200,000 people in exchange for 20 years of stability.”

Deng then ordered the army to crack down on the protest with guns and tanks. However, the so-called “20 years of stability” did not mean the stability of civil life, but actually the stability of communist rule.

Deng Xiaoping in 1978. (AP)

Indeed, the Chinese regime relies on regular persecutions as a way of maintaining its power.

“Violence and corruption are the system today in China,” said David Kilgour, former Canadian secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, in the conference of TEDxMünchen 2015. “Every 10 years or so, the party starts a persecution of a minority, and mainly I think to instill fear in the general population.”

Well known for this saying, “Power comes from the barrel of a gun,” CCP founder Mao Zedong caused millions of deaths in his political campaigns. During the Great Leap Forward (1958-1961), an estimated 20 million-40 million people were starved to death. The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) caused 3 million deaths, according to the book of “Mao: The Unknown Story.”

Mao Zedong, founder of the Chinese Communist Party and U.S. President Richard Nixon in Beijing in February 1972. (AP)

In 1989, Deng Xiaoping ordered the military to proceed with the bloody Tiananmen Square massacre for the so-called 20 years of stability.

Ten years latter, in 1999, CCP leader Jiang Zemin started a new persecution—against the people who practise Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa). Falun Gong is a practice of a set of exercises and meditation which help to improve the overall mind, body, and spiritual health.

“Falun Dafa is a practice, which has brought better health and inner peace to millions around the world,” stated the New York State Senate’s Resolution 1115, which commemorated the 20th Annual World Falun Dafa Day on May 13, 2019.

Falun Gong practitioners from different countries gather in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York, on May 16, 2019, to protest the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of the practice. (Minghui.org)

Based on truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, Falun Gong helps Chinese people to connect with their traditional culture and revive their traditional values for the good of our modern society.

However, after decades of political campaigns and destroying traditional values, the atheist communist regime sees the growth of Falun Gong as a threat to its own power.

As the number of Falun Gong practitioners reached 70 million-100 million, greater than the number of Chinese communist members (65 million), Jiang Zemin ordered a nationwide persecution against the practice, commanding communists and all citizens to “destroy their reputations, bankrupt them, and destroy them physically.”

In a photo taken before July 1999, when the Chinese regime launched a nationwide persecution, Falun Gong practitioners practice the exercises in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. (Minghui.org)

The repression campaign involves arbitrary arrests, forced labor, physical torture, and even a “systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting” from the practitioners. Organ harvesting was what prompted U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to present resolution H.R. 343, in June 2016.

The major victims of the abuse are Falun Gong practitioners “and to a lesser extent, the killing of Uyghurs, Tibetans, and House Christians,” according the 2016 report “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update” by former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour, Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, and Ethan Gutmann—American investigative journalist.

Three investigators gave an update on June 24, 2016, of their research on forced organ harvesting in China. L-R: human rights lawyer David Matas, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour, and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann. (Minghui)

However, like the Tiananmen Square massacre and other persecutions of the past, many Chinese people do not know about the role the CCP played in the crackdown of Falun Gong and the state-sponsored organ harvesting.

Brainwashing and propaganda

The Chinese Communist Party has been continuously persecuting the Chinese people for decades, but why are the citizens unaware of its crimes?

“The biggest reason is that through propaganda, brainwashing, and thought control, they’ve made people unaware of what happened in the past,” Fang Zheng, a former student protester whose legs were crushed by a tank on June 4, 1989, said to Chris Chappell, the host of YouTube Channel of China Uncensored.

“They’ve separated each part of the past, over and over again. So young people will have no idea about the crimes the Party has committed in the past, so they will still believe and have illusions about the Party. In this way, the Party will be able to continue their rule and their methods are working.”

L-R: U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, Fang Zheng, and Chai Ling in Oslo, in December 2010. (VOA via Wikimedia Commons)

Zheng, who fled to the United States in 2009, urged the publishing of information on the crimes as a way to help Chinese people to learn the truth. “If we expose their errors and their crimes and let people know about the past continuously, so that the memory is not broken off, it will be harder for them to rule, harder for them to continue their crimes,” Zheng said.

Reaching the information about the true situation is a challenge to Chinese netizens as the regime set up the Great Firewall to censor information on the internet.

The Tiananmen Square massacre and information about Falun Gong are among the most censored topics in China. Wikipedia articles of the massacre cannot be read in China, neither can the website for Falun Gong, according to Al-Jazeera.

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Freedom House, a U.S.-based NGO for promoting democracy, called out China as “the worst abuser of internet freedom,” for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, according to the organization’s Net Freedom report.

Relinking human rights and trade talks

Wang Dan, a former student leader of the Tiananmen protests, chairman of Chinese Constitutional Reform Association, urged Western countries to counter the threat from the Chinese Communist Party.

“It is time for us now—for all the democratic countries now—to re-recognize the true face of the (Communist Party of China) and try to learn some lessons from the Tiananmen massacre,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Dan called on the West to include human rights in trade talks with Beijing.

“China becomes a threat to the free world, and in my opinion, I think it is time to relink trade and human rights issues. That might be the only way to deal with this problem,” he said.

Veteran Chinese dissident Wang Dan, right, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, on May 29, 2019. (Koji Sasahara/AP Photo)

Former President Bill Clinton was criticized for removing human rights from trade talks with Beijing, offering China the most-favored-nation (MFN) trade benefits in 1993, only four years after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

“Then-President Bill Clinton’s fateful decision to disconnect U.S. human rights policy from trade deals in 1993 removed America’s most powerful instrument for producing good in the world,” Greg Autry, director of the Southern California Commercial Spaceflight Initiative at the University of Southern California, wrote in Foreign Policy on Nov. 28, 2018.

At a state dinner at the White House Oct 29, 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton toasts with Jiang Zemin, head of the Chinese Communist Party, who arose to power in 1989, right after the Tiananmen Square massacre, and launched a brutal persecution against Falun Gong in 1999. (Photo: AP)

David Kilgour, former Canadian secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, made the same recommendation, according to The Epoch Times.

“Relinking human rights with trade talks, applying the Magnitsky Act to surgeons and others participating in organ abuse, and warning U.S. universities about the risk of training surgeons from China, and so on, would all help,” said Kilgour, who was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on exposing the Chinese state sponsored organ harvesting.

The recommendation came as trade talks between Beijing and Washington have escalated. President Donald Trump called out China and said it “broke the deal” in trade talks and then he applied tariffs of 25 percent on US$200 billion of Chinese products.

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