Unsurprisingly, the Beijing government is denying any similarity between the slaughter of protesting villagers in Dongzhou Village and the slaughter of protestors in Tienanmen Square. The subscription—only South China Morning Post reports:
In a regular briefing in Beijing yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the two incidents were not comparable as no conclusion had been reached about the Dongzhou violence.
"Conclusions have been reached on the 1989 incidents, but no conclusion has been drawn on this event. How can we know if they are the same type of incident?" he asked.
OK, but you can't exactly rule out any similarities, can you?
The SCMP also quotes Xu Youyu, a political theorist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences:
"A denouncement of the local government's handling is not likely, especially when this time security forces were used. When a crisis involving political sensitivity occurs at the local level, the central government tends to handle the issue in the traditional manner, namely to cover it up and suppress the media and those who speak up," Professor Xu said.
He said the central government should come up with a new approach to assuaging social discontent before people lost their faith in all levels of government.
"People have long lost their faith in local governments. When bad things happen, they think they're the local governments' fault. And they believe the central government can help them. But now, more and more people have lost their faith in Beijing. This is a serious problem," he said.
"The central government should be happy that there still are people visiting the petition offices in Beijing — that means there are still people who trust them."
But Professor Xu said it was not likely that Beijing would properly address the problem because it needed to maintain a relationship with the local officials.
"The local governments have been doing things that embarrass the central government. But they know that even if Beijing is aware of their wrongdoings, that wouldn't do them any harm as Beijing would have to rely on them to carry out policies and to keep local administrations in order," he said.
"Beijing has to weigh between maintaining the stability of the governments and a governance crisis as it tries to avoid upsetting local officials."
Remarkably similar to what AT readers have been reading of late.
Hat tip: China Challenges