The 4th of June this year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre when the Chinese Communist Party crushed pro-Democracy protesters in a bid to secure its powers. The death toll is speculated to be in thousands even though officially, the figure was pegged at less than 300.
It was one of the most terrible instances of human rights violation when the CCP unleashed the might of the Chinese military on its own citizens. China has always sought to downplay the incident and silence critics who brought it up but on the 32nd anniversary of the event, it appears that they have found a new ruse.
Hu Xijin, the Editor-in-Chief of the state-backed Global Times, sought to justify the Tiananmen Square Massacre by drawing a false equivalence with the Capitol Hill riots at Washington DC on the 6th of January. “If you want to condemn “state violence,” condemn Capitol crackdown first,” said Hu Xijin.
First of all, there was no massacre of American citizens during the Capitol Hill riots. Only one individual died during the riots, a female veteran named Ashli Babitt. Unfortunate as the death was, it is by no means comparable to the scale of massacre observed during the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Secondly, the events of the Capitol Rights were by no means comparable to the massacre that the CCP committed 32 years ago. There is still confusion regarding the precise circumstances that led to the riots but what cannot be disputed that it was a law and order situation in a democratic country, not a human rights situation as in the other case.
Even then, there is good reason why the CCP feels comfortable using the Capitol Hill riots ruse now. And let us be clear, the words in the tweet are from CCP, Hu Xijin is merely voicing it.
The United States of America is going through a phase of deep political divide, which some have compared to the atmosphere during the run up to the Civil War. Under such circumstances, the CCP is looking to exploit internal divisions within the USA itself.
Concurrently, a culture of censorship has come to dominate USA with private entities leading efforts to censor the media and the academia playing a major role. Furthermore, there is great mistrust regarding the electoral processes in the country with a significant chunk of Trump voters feeling disenfranchised.
The culture of censorship that has come to dominate US is very much akin to the CCP mode of censorship, only with much greater arbitrariness and much lesser state backed punishment. The punishment is in the form of job loss and loss of reputation. It may not appear as gruesome as imprisonment but ‘Cancel Culture’ can often be equally devastating.
The censorship also tends to favour one party exclusively as the overwhelming majority of the ruling elite tends to vote Democrat in elections. Moreover, culture elites of USA openly admitted to engaging in a ‘conspiracy’ to ensure Donald Trump’s defeat in elections.
Thus, it is no wonder that vast sections of the American electorate considers elections fraudulent. This censorship was also evident in the manner in which the lab-leak hypothesis of Covid-19 was covered-up by the science establishment of the country with help from a pliant media.
The hypothesis was branded a ‘conspiracy theory’ in the media with social media platforms censoring it on the basis of sham ‘fact-checks’. It was motivated primarily by the fact that Donald Trump had endorsed the hypothesis. It was labeled ‘racist’, of all things.
Given the deep political divides, Hu Xijin, and the CCP by extension are looking to justify the Tiananmen Square Massacre using political talking-points that dominate the American politics. Earlier, China has used Black Lives Matter protests to shoot back at US allegations of human rights violations against China.
China has also used US regime change wars to deflect criticism of its own crimes against humanity. And expectedly, it worked because they were based on a healthy amount of truth. USA’s own record when it comes to human rights is not too great.
The USA has funded Islamic terrorists in an attempt to topple regimes not conducive to American interests, it has armed neo-Nazis to score foreign policy goals against Russia. More recently, it refused to condemn the killing of Palestinian children during the Gaza Conflict that ended with a ceasefire only days ago.
China has realised that it can respond to most allegations of human rights abuses against itself by pointing at USA’s own terrible track record. Similarly, with regards to the Tiananmen Square Massacre, it seeks to deflect criticism now by citing a political event unique to the American political context.