Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

Post June 4th: Tiananmen Anniversary
Created by John Eipper on 06/04/18 11:09 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:


June 4th: Tiananmen Anniversary (Paul Levine, Denmark, 06/04/18 11:09 am)

For those of you who may have forgotten, June 4 is the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre.

Here is an article, "Remembering and Forgetting June 4," which I wrote four years ago for American Diplomacy:


JE comments:  I'm grateful to Paul Levine for the reminder.  Can Tiananmen have been nearly 30 years ago?  One of the 20th century's historical mysteries concerns Tank Man (the gentleman who stopped the column of four tanks in Tiananmen Square).  Both his identity and his fate have never been positively determined:



Rate this post
Informational value 
Reader Ratings (1)
Informational value100%

Visits: 127


Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

  • Tiananmen Remembered; Tank Man (Istvan Simon, USA 06/05/18 4:13 AM)
    Many thanks to Paul Levine (June 4th) for reminding us of the shameful massacre of Tiananmen Square. It was the greatest crime of Deng Xiaoping, though in terms of the number of murdered it barely registers as a tiny blip when compared to other mass murders of the disgraceful 20th century.

    I think that it is likely that the Tank Man has been murdered by the Chinese totalitarian government. Otherwise it would be difficult to explain why he would not have been identified and come forward all these years.

    I always thought that what that man did was one of the most moving things I have ever witnessed in my life. What I think makes it so moving is that the confrontation shows both the extraordinary courage of the Tank Man, and also the fact that the soldier in the tank did not simply crush him under his tank. The soldier in the tank did not want to kill him. A more beautiful reminder of humanity under repression and war could hardly be imagined. The Tank Man and the soldier in that tank should receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

    JE comments:  Today (June 5th) is the anniversary of the Tank Man incident, which occurred the day after the massacre.  I share Istvan Simon's belief that Tank Man must have been "disappeared" or killed.  Otherwise he would have presented himself by now, especially in the age of social media.

    Please login/register to reply or comment:

    • Tank Man and the Play "Chimerica" (David Duggan, USA 06/05/18 5:26 AM)
      Two years ago, TimeLine Theater in Chicago presented a compelling play Chimerica trying to solve the mystery of Tank Man.

      Presented as kind of a thriller from the standpoint of a CNN-style photojournalist who witnessed the confrontation, the play, performed in a church basement, kept my attention for 2 hours (a rarity, as just about any companion would aver).

      I won't give it away lest anyone want to see it, but it presents an alternative hypothesis to the grocery bags clutched by the lone resister.

      JE comments:  "Chimerica" is a portmanteau word combining China and America; it also evokes chimera.  Wikipedia provides no information on the plot, although I note that the cast (17 roles) is very large for a church basement.  The play debuted in London.  I'd love to see it.

      Please login/register to reply or comment:

    • Tank Man and Rachel Corrie (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 06/05/18 3:35 PM)
      Many WAISers have rightly remembered the heroic Tank Man of Tiananmen Square. It is a fact that his act was useless against the oppression, but it is good for American propaganda at this moment of confrontation in the economic and geopolitical situation in the Western Pacific.

      I want therefore to remember another useless heroic sacrifice. On 16 March 2003 the beautiful young American volunteer Rachel Corrie was squashed like a cockroach by an Israeli bulldozer used to destroy yet another Palestinian house against all international conventions.

      The fault of the heroic Rachel was trying to defend the oppressed and their house.

      As the US has practically forgotten the infamous attack on the USS Liberty of 8 June 1967, the same has been done for Rachel.

      JE comments: Rachel Corrie has certainly been remembered on WAIS (see below).  Eugenio Battaglia forces us to ask a hard question:  should Tank Man be celebrated while Rachel's death is dismissed as an unfortunate accident under "unclear circumstances"?  The harsh fact is that only one of them survived a showdown with armored behemoths.



      Please login/register to reply or comment:

    • What Do We Know about Tiananmen Death Toll? (Paul Levine, Denmark 06/06/18 8:04 AM)
      How many died on June 4, 1989?

      China Change offers a new accounting. But not all the deaths occurred in Beijing.

      There were protests all over China. Some were met with brutal reprisals. In The People's Republic of Amnesia

      Louisa Lim recounts what happened in Chengdu, where bodies, some still alive, were stacked like logs on trucks.

      Meanwhile the new regime in Hong Kong and the PRC prefer to change the subject by dictatorial decree.

      JE comments:  Thank you for steering us to China Change, Paul.  A June 4th (2018) article grapples with the actual number of dead.  Claims vary from 23 students and "several tens" of law-enforcement officials (government statistics) to as many as 10,000.  See below:


      Please login/register to reply or comment:

      • What Do We Know about Tiananmen Death Toll? Deng Xiaoping Appraised (Istvan Simon, USA 06/10/18 3:59 AM)
        In reply to Paul Levine (6 June), I do not know how many people were killed in China around June 4, 1989, but it is fairly certain that the 10,000 figure is much closer to the truth than the ridiculous claims by the Chinese government.

        As all dictatorial governments, The Chinese Communist Party lies more or less as much as Trump does. Deng Xiaoping was a great man in my opinion, but his actions ordering the Tiananmen massacre and then suppressing what occurred there by decree was callous and a major crime against China and humanity. I think so, but nonetheless, I also think that on balance, Deng Xiaoping did an enormous service for China, unlike Mao, who was just a horrible tyrant and murderer of tens of millions of Chinese.

        Deng killed merely in the ten thousands, maybe about the same as Fidel Castro did, but on the other hand, he transformed China into the colossus it is today, so when I weigh the positives versus the negatives, I view him much much more favorably than unfavorably. Deng Xiaoping had merits and major redeeming features. Mao had none. He was just the worst mass murderer in human history.

        JE comments:  "Merely tens of thousands" is disturbing accountancy, but next to Mao everybody seems Gandhi-like. 

        Deng has been dead for 21 years.  Can we do a discussion on his legacy?  I'll start the ball rolling:  Deng's most famous quote, "to get rich is glorious," has one problem:  There's no proof he said it.  See below:


        What's next?  Is someone going to debunk Et tu, Brute and Madam, I'm Adam?

        Seriously, now.  Did Deng "transform" China or simply unfetter its economy, allowing the Chinese to transform themselves?

        Please login/register to reply or comment:

  • Tiananmen Anniversary: Remembering Tank Man (Paul Levine, Denmark 06/05/18 4:47 AM)

    Here is a new article about Tank Man from The Guardian:


    JE comments:  #Tankman2018 is a worldwide protest initiative to recreate TM's dress and pose for photographs.  We also learn from the above that Mi Tu, from the Me Too movement against sexual harassment, translates into Chinese as "Rice Bunny."  Due to censorship, the English equivalent or the images themselves have become a stand-in for Me Too.  See below.

    This is an extraordinary linguistic construct.  I cannot think of any other example of the phonemes of one language being transported to another, and then back-translated into the original language according to the new meaning in the second language.  Some advertising bloopers come to mind, such as "Bite the Wax Tadpole" as one Chinese adaptation of Coca-Cola, but this was written off as a mistake.

    Please login/register to reply or comment:

Trending Now

All Forums with Published Content (45708 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications


Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy


Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series


Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust


Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire


Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US


Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)


Geography Maps Tourism Transportation


1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who