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Tiananmen Gate
Tiananmen Gate, Mao's Portrait

June 4th is the anniversary of the Tiannanmen protests in China, 1989.  Then teaching children in my international school in China, even for 6th graders, liusi is a shibboleth that gets bandied about quite a bit, towards the culminating date.  It may seem surprising that 12-year-olds know about June 4th. 

While many of my students are full or half Chinese by parentage this is not a local neighborhood school.  The students come from families with money:  professionals and business people from the upper middle to upper class.  Most of them have already traveled around China and they take holiday and summer vacations in places I can't afford. This is a pretty sophisticated bunch and we can discuss Chinese politics much more openly than would be allowed in Chinese Public school.

In all fairness to China, as someone who taught in public schools in the United States, there is just as much self-censorship and possible professional retribution for teachers who broach topics that do not fit the mythical, conventional version of the American way. The official consensus, be it in China, America or Bangladesh, is overpowering and stifling.

As June 4th approaches, the most mundane refrain is that the internet slows down to an Arctic molasses pace.  Then there is a general increase in the presence of security forces on the streets.  They seem to grow exponentially as you travel to the nexus of the Middle Kingdom's universe, the Forbidden City, and its accompanying Tiananmen Square. In keeping with all the myriad, mind boggling, socioeconomic superlatives that China has and is accruing on the world stage, Tiananmen is the planet's fourth largest public square, weighing in at 440,000m2 (880m by 500m). China still grabs the We're Number One medal in any case, as Xinghai Square, in Dalian, stretches out an expansive 1,100,000m2. Bring your compass or GPS.

As usual, a few bright sparks in my class, those young minds who love to read through our class' subscription to the print edition of the China Daily newspaper and peruse articles on the educational current events website The Day, dutifully ask me:

Mr. Brown, so how many people were killed during the Tiananmen massacre?

Before returning to China in 2010, I would have undoubtedly spouted the pedantic, Western mainstream media mantra:

Oh, I understand the Chinese army massacred many thousands.

Back in the day, even grade school kids always seemed to bring up the iconic Western media image of Tank Man.  We would all dutifully extol the virtues of the allegorical saint of resistance to tyranny and oppression, like some political superhero version of The Epic of Gilgamesh. This year [2016], when Tank Man was proffered, I reflexively held tight.

At least this year I had enough of a fledgling knowledge [see this] to say:

I have read estimates from the low hundreds to a few thousand. My guess would be maybe a thousand.

This year's classroom discussion was even more poignant.  One student told us that his father had a friend who was killed during the protests and it was, after all, the 25th anniversary, a quarter of a century since that fateful night.  The Chinese take numerology very seriously.

Why am I questioning what is taken as absolute fact, that thousands of innocent, idealistic Chinese students were gunned down like dogs by a soulless, bloodthirsty People's Liberation Army (PLA) in and around Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989?

This is simply because the arc of my understanding about world history and current events has changed radically since moving back to China in 2010, traveling around the country, writing 44 Days and this book [China Rising], with all the incumbent thousands of hours of research involved. My horizons have expanded exponentially and I now have the courage to question and refute the official (Western) narrative.

All this research gave me a much different perspective.

I learned that Baba Beijing [nickname for China's central government] and ordinary Chinese also have their version of the story to tell:  the Tiananmen protests were ended with very little bloodshed, given the huge numbers of people involved, up to one million in and around the square. That out of a total of 300 deaths, a number of these were unarmed PLA soldiers who were first sent into this teeming mass of humanity to stand sentry almost six weeks before the denouement. Well organized, well armed protesters, with materiel that could have only been provided by outside agents, upped the ante of violence with automatic weapons and Molotov cocktails, and Baba Beijing responded by sending in armed soldiers to suppress these violent groups.  The rest of the protesters slowly left the square and the surrounding streets were emptied. 

The photos are eloquent:

 Tiananmen PLA soldier burned hanging from bus voltaire.net 488 x 329

tiananmen PLA soldier burned and hung voltaire.net

Unarmed PLA soldiers hung or tied up then torched with Molotov cocktails by Tiananmen's protesters. The bottom photo's soldier was even disemboweled with some bus trim. Nice.  Once the West's "peaceful" protesters turned bloodthirsty, Baba Beijing gave the soldiers arms to clear out the square.  (Images by Voltaire.net)

If Baba Beijing was such a heartless bunch of leaders, why was the protest allowed to completely disrupt the country for over a month (There were protests in numerous other cities as well.), and during all this time the security agents and PLA soldiers were unarmed? It was only when a few bands of protesters suddenly had automatic weapons that the PLA came in to stop them.

BELOW:  If Baba Beijing was such a heartless bunch of bastards and the PLA just a gang of psychopathic killers, why did they not run over Tank Man?  (Image by petapixel.com)

Tiananmen Tank Man 3 1280 x 720 Tiananmen Tank Man 5 1280 x 720

Not only that, but every Western journalist worth their salt eventually came out and recanted all the lurid reporting of massive bloodshed around Tiananmen Square.  Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times actually reported the truth of a non-massacre, but it was buried to make room for all the Western, anti-communist China propaganda.

Wikileaks documents smoked out BBC journalist James Miles, that he had "conveyed the wrong impression" and that there was no one killed in Tiananmen Square in 1989. In 1998, in the Columbia Jounalism Review, Jay Matthews, who as the Washington Post's Beijing bureau chief, wrote a piece entitled, "Reporting the Myth of Tiananmen and the Price of a Passive Press".  Mr. Matthews recounts in depressing detail how the mainstream media propaganda megaphone fabricated the myth of a student massacre.  Numberous other Western reporters later testified that they were under tremendous pressure to exaggerate the casualties. Even uber-establishment Daily Telegraph had to write that it was all a lie.

Human Rights Watch decided not to publish in 1989 their own 52-page eye witnesses' report that confirmed the Chinese side of the story, undoubtedly due to intense official pressure to maintain he Big Lie.  This same organization still keeps the Big Lie going on every June 4th anniversary, because by continuing the anti-Chinese propaganda, they can garner a spike in donations every year.

One of the most devastating, iron-clad pieces of evidence was film footage from a Spanish TV crew who got lost in the confusion that night. It conclusively showed that no massacre took place, [that] there were no PLA machine gun nests atop buildings spraying the square with lead, nor were there soldiers gunning down innocents with sadistic abandon.  As soon as the footage became known, it was just as quickly buried by the powers that be, since it did not fit the iron-fisted Western narrative of an evil Chinese Communist Party hell-bent on massacring its citizens.

There is also irrefutable evidence that the CIA was aiding, abetting and organizing the protests, providing money to pay for everything needed to keep the protests going:  money on the streets to buy food and necessities, faxes, mimeograph machines, phone lines, strategy and training manuals, expensive Coleman gas stoves and unlimited supplies of very costly cooking fuel, ample supplies of gasoline to make Molotov cocktails at a time when cars were rare and fuel was rationed. And, when the disappointment fo over a month of overthrow effort was ending in failure, Kalashnikovs (AK-47s) smuggled into the country via diplomatic pouch were finally provided on June 3rd in one last desperate attempt to overthrow the communist government.

That night of June 3rd, when reports came in to the Central and Politburo Standing Committees that unarmed PLA soldiers were being gunned down in cold blood, Deng Ziaoping called an emergency meeting and gave a speech. In it, he said they all knew that outside forces were instigating this insurrection and that these outside agents were hell-bent on destroying the CPC.  None of them blamed the students.  They knew these kids were being manipulated by the CIA and its local subversives. These protesters had legitimate grievances and they were being corrupted by the West.

Heck, after Baba Beijing spent days talking to the students, the CPC even invited protest leaders on national TV as a means of dialogue.  Imagine that:  protest leaders being on national television, to meet with Premier leader Deng and President Yang Shangkun.  And what did these protest leaders do?  They insulted Premier Peng and spurned his efforts and insulted him and the other leaders on TV.  Rebuking elders in public is beyond the pale in Chinese culture and it was a massive loss of face for the CPC.

Enough was enough. At that point, Baba Beijing knew that the protest leaders were nothing more than Western stooges. Deng told his colleagues that it was either the CPC or the West that was going to control their country and they could not allow China to relive another century of colonial, imperial humiliation. The time to act was now. Declare martial law and send in the PLA with arms to protect the thousands of unarmed soldiers already in harm's way and end the protests peacefully.

Hats off to the CIA. It got "that close" to turning China's proud people into Western lackeys, just like 1839-1949. The near success of the orchestrated Tiananmen protests became the blueprint for the many "color revolutions" that the West started cooking up a year later, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and which are still ongoing in places like the Ukraine and Hong Kong. The Tienanmen Square "Massacre" is without a doubt one of the most successful Fake News operations in history.

The Chinese government came flat out on the 10th anniversary saying that Tiananmen was orchestrated and implemented by the United States:

 "The United States played an inglorious role by directly masterminding schemes and giving money and goods to support those making the disturbance."

Every year since, on June 4th the Chinese press repeats the same observation as a reminder to the masses. This is not partisan speculation. Thoughtful research demonstrates that it is historical fact.

The way Tiananmen was portrayed behind the Great Western Firewall was not random happenstance. There was a deliberate, concerted, willful effort by mainstream Western journalists to destroy Baba beijing's and the Chinese Communist Party's reputation and, ultimately, to overthrow the government. The fact that many of these people came out 10,15,20 years later and confessed to their perjury is nice. But, it's like someone who waits to fess up about a lie that put someone on death row - only to see them lose their life in the electric chair and then recant after the fact.

In this case, the bludgeoning of the truth has resulted in the execution of China's and Baba Beijing's dignity and reputation, year after year, after year. For the Western slime machine, it is the gift that just keeps on giving, as every anniversary Western TV, radio and print media ceaselessly vomit all over the world the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" and "democracy protests".

The original protests had nothing to do with "Western democracy". They were sparked due to the death of popular CPC General Secretary Hu Yaobang. They were protesting three things:  rampant inflation, which for the previous 18 months had skyrocketed to 25-30% per annum.  Number two, all of the reforms that were removing China's Mao Era socialist programs were beginning to hurt the masses' pocketbooks and quality of life. So in fact, Tiananmen was in support of communism and a rejection of newly adopted capitalist policies. [Emphasis added.]

Finally, and again due to all the market deregulation, business and government corruption were becoming rampant, and this stuck in the craw of the people, who were suffering from inflation and disappearing socialist benefits. These were the real reasons for the protests.  It was not until the CIA and other Western spy agencies infiltrated the square with their hired and trained traitors that the alien concept of "Western democracy" became a fabricated "issue".

This reminds me of the great lecture that Michael Parenti gave about Julius Caesar, how the powers that be can so brilliantly turn reality completely inside-out. Today, Caesar is portrayed as a despotic tyrant who crushed Rome's hapless citizens like bugs. Not true. He was a liberal who was doing many good things for the masses, redistributing wealth from the millionaire senators downward. That's why he was assassinated. Western propaganda abaout Tiananmen is just as bogus and insidious.

Australian jounalist Wei Ling Chua wrote an excellent book, Tiananmen Square "Massacre"? The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence, which pulls much of this information into a cohesive whole.

As my students and I were talking together, I couldn't help but ask myself,

"How would Uncle Sam respond if a few hundred thousand protesters were packed into Washington DC's National Mall and well organized, well-armed groups began assaulting and killing the authorities' security forces with automatic machine guns and Molotov cocktails?"

I kept coming to the same conclusion:  It would get really ugly, really fast.

A serendipitous juxtaposition also happened right before this year's liusi:  I had just finished reading Killing Hope by William Blum. It is a factual, scathing expose of the American Central Intelligence Agency's and National Security Administration's long, long rap sheet of covert and violent regime change in dozens of countries around the world since World War II, including China. My eyebrows raised more than just a stretch while reading about all the ceaseless American efforts to destabilize and overthrow the communist government here, starting even before October 1st, 1949. It included hiring the Dalai Lama's older brother as America's lead Tibetan saboteur. For years, the CIA and Thubten Jigme Norbu planned to invade the Land of Snow, using hundreds of exiles trained in Colorado and on America's Saipan Island, and flying numerous weapons drops onto the Tibetan Plateau to arm the overthrow. Elsewhere in China, scores of American and Taiwanese agents were sent to infiltrate, sabotage and foment anti-government revolution in-country. This has been documented in detail to have gone on well into the '70s....

Enthralled that we Westerners are so convinced of our moral superiority, thus this Great Con is so ruthlessly effective and pervasive all over the world. Indeed, as previously stated, this is manifested in one of the United States' greatest post-WWII media propaganda coups:  the Tiananmen Square "Massacre".  We all dutifully regurgitate the annual international flogging that Baba Beijing, and by extension, China's 1.3 billion citizens, have been and will be subjected to by Western Empire's state-corporate mass media. This worldwide juggernaut, a system that makes Orwell's Oceania blush with envy, will go on in perpetuity every June 4th, for an ersatz massacre that never was. It's a hoax that just keeps on giving. The fact that Tiananmen was financed, planned, aided and abetted by the CIA makes the whole affair especially galling and diabolical.

I'm equally ashamed that I have been an unwitting dupe to fall for this blatant, state-corporate brainwashing most of my life. Not anymore. Like Neo in The Matrix, since returning to China six years ago , I am renouncing the blue pill and opting for the red one....

At the same time, it is easy to see why the vast, vast majority of humanity prefers to swallow the blue pill, living inside that comforting, soothing illusion of ignorance, in the amniotic womb of infotainment and soulless Stuff. I am learning that real freedom is not free. The truth of reality is hard, humbling and sobering work....

With one more week of school to go, I already apologized to this year's class for my earlier analysis of what happened on June 4th, 1989. Next year, when liusi rolls around, I will be a much better teacher to my students from the get-go. I didn't swallow the red pill until I was in my fifties.  Better late than never. I hope from now on that I can teach my students, regardless of their age or nationality, to embrace the truth of reality no matter how much it goes against the official consensus. Better earlier than later. It's the only hope humanity has for its future salvation, starting now.


Jeff-Sitting-writing-lookaway"Jeff J. Brown is the author of 44 Days (2013) and Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). In 2016 Punto Press released China Rising, Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations – The Truth behind Asia’s Enigmatic Colossus; and BIG Red Book on China (2020) (Author’s Page). Jeff is a contributing editor with the Greanville Post, Dispatch from Beijing. where he keeps a column, and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. He is editor of China Tech News Flash!, a co-founder of the Bioweapon Truth Commission and the curator of of its Global Online Library (BWTC-GOL). In China, he has been a speaker at TEDx, the Bookworm and Capital M Literary Festivals, the Hutong, as well as being featured in an 18-part series of interviews on Radio Beijing AM774, with former BBC journalist, Bruce Connolly. He has guest lectured at Beijing Academy of Social Sciences (BASS), as well as in various international schools and universities."  Brighteon Video Channel: https://www.brighteon.com/channels/jeffjbrown

Most Westerners know very little about China and understand even less. With nearly two decades living, working, traveling, researching and writing in China, Jeff has the remedy that in his extensive work. This article is excerpted from a chapter of the same title in his book, China Rising, published in 2016, an excellent place to begin one's journey into the culture and people of China. A similar excerpt appears on his blog, updated each year (scroll to bottom).  ~ Ed.

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