China Covers Up the Dongzhou Massacre

By

The Chinese government is doing everything possible to prevent the outside world from learning of the massacre of protestors in the village of Dongzhou, in the Pearl River Delta just north of Hong Kong. Howard Stevenson reports for the New York Times:

... the government had decided to re—educate the entire population. Banners hang everywhere, with slogans in big red characters proclaiming things like, "Stability is paramount" and "Don't trust instigators."

Many facts remain unclear about the police crackdown on a Dongzhou demonstration on Dec. 6, which residents say ended in the deaths of 20 or more people, but one thing is certain: The government is doing everything possible to prevent witnesses' accounts of what happened from emerging.

The government forces are playing for keeps. Residents speak of having

endured beatings, bribes and threats at the hands of security forces in the week and a half after their protest against the construction of a power plant was violently put down. Others said that the corpses of the dead had been withheld, apparently because they were so riddled with bullets that they would contradict the government's version of events. And residents have been warned that if they must explain the deaths of loved ones — many of whom were shot dead during a tense standoff with the police in which fireworks, blasting caps and crude gasoline bombs were thrown by the villagers — they should simply say their relatives were blown up by their own explosives.

So much for any illusions that the regime is turning over any new leaves for the present. There is undoubtedly a a gain in personal freedom continuing slowly if not steadily. But when push comes to shove, old ways return. The only way the regime will permanently change its repressive behavior is if there is a price to be paid. That is why the world's attention must be focused on Dongzhou. The regime is attempting a cover—up precisely because it fears this attention.

Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics on the theory that China's opening to market forces has made it an ordinary or normal state. Of course, the Olympics were held in Hitler's Germany and the USSR, so a free and democratic society doesn't seem to be prerequisite to fitting in with the so—called Olympic ideals.

China is very heavily depending on the Olympics to legitimize it in the world's eyes. It isn therefore important that the Dongzhou Massacre be raised as in issue in determining the fitness of Beijing to host the athletic festival.

The Chinese government is doing everything possible to prevent the outside world from learning of the massacre of protestors in the village of Dongzhou, in the Pearl River Delta just north of Hong Kong. Howard Stevenson reports for the New York Times:

... the government had decided to re—educate the entire population. Banners hang everywhere, with slogans in big red characters proclaiming things like, "Stability is paramount" and "Don't trust instigators."

Many facts remain unclear about the police crackdown on a Dongzhou demonstration on Dec. 6, which residents say ended in the deaths of 20 or more people, but one thing is certain: The government is doing everything possible to prevent witnesses' accounts of what happened from emerging.

The government forces are playing for keeps. Residents speak of having

endured beatings, bribes and threats at the hands of security forces in the week and a half after their protest against the construction of a power plant was violently put down. Others said that the corpses of the dead had been withheld, apparently because they were so riddled with bullets that they would contradict the government's version of events. And residents have been warned that if they must explain the deaths of loved ones — many of whom were shot dead during a tense standoff with the police in which fireworks, blasting caps and crude gasoline bombs were thrown by the villagers — they should simply say their relatives were blown up by their own explosives.

So much for any illusions that the regime is turning over any new leaves for the present. There is undoubtedly a a gain in personal freedom continuing slowly if not steadily. But when push comes to shove, old ways return. The only way the regime will permanently change its repressive behavior is if there is a price to be paid. That is why the world's attention must be focused on Dongzhou. The regime is attempting a cover—up precisely because it fears this attention.

Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics on the theory that China's opening to market forces has made it an ordinary or normal state. Of course, the Olympics were held in Hitler's Germany and the USSR, so a free and democratic society doesn't seem to be prerequisite to fitting in with the so—called Olympic ideals.

China is very heavily depending on the Olympics to legitimize it in the world's eyes. It isn therefore important that the Dongzhou Massacre be raised as in issue in determining the fitness of Beijing to host the athletic festival.