Five: Fatuous And Cruel
1: Disguising Massacre
Before Tian An Men Massacre, Jiang Zemin as newly appointed General Secretary, from the time of late May, began reading and approving official documents. He was a key figure in the tragedy and the one who benefited the most from it.
After the Massacre, the days grew long and challenging for Jiang. Much is blood that stained Jiang’s hand. Every year around the date of June 4th, people all over the world express condolences with numerous photos and video footages, which had been Jiang’s never-ending nightmare.
He’d never forget Zhao Ziyang’s criticism of him before the Massacre. Zhao’s strong opposition to the Massacre, and resignation in anger served as the most pointed reminder of Jiang’s shameful road to power. Grieved by resentment, the way Jiang wanted Zhao’s living quarter in Beijing monitored and controlled, was so harsh and strict, even security staff were left baffled and reluctant to follow.
After the Massacre, almost every major media operation the world over carried a picture of a young man, who blocked with his own body, unarmed, the pass of the moving group of tanks. The man’s name was Wamg Weilin. International media praised with sincere respect, the courage with which Wang peacefully protested. Some called him the hero of the century.
Wang’s very existence itself became the reminder of the Massacre. Jiang was terribly upset over the matter, and issued a secret order to find the young man. Wang was captured and executed in secret at Jiang’s orders.
In the year 2000, Jiang was interviewed by Mike Wallace, the veteran CBS 60 Minutes reporter in the United States.
Wallace took out Wang Weilin’s picture, and asked Jiang: “Do you admire this young man’s courage?” Jiang offered a surprising reply: ” He absolutely was not arrested. I don’t know his whereabouts.” To the experienced reporter,it was telling that Jiang had answered an unasked question.
Another hero of Tian An Men protest was Xu Qinxian, the Army Commander of battalion number 38. Xu Qinxian was respected by Chinese everywhere for his refusal to carry out orders to fire at the students. Yet, Jiang, as Chairman of the Military Commission, ordered a secret trial of Xu, and enprisoned him for 5 years.
At a press conference soon after the Massacre, a French reporter asked Jiang about a female graduate student, who was arrested for participating in the demonstrations, and later was gang-raped in a Sichuan Province prison. Jiang’s reply couldn’t have been alarming, he declared: ” She deserves it!”
In his youth, Jiang had seen first hand, his biological father, Jiang Shi-jun, employed propaganda to disguise the Nanjing Massacre. Indeed, with time, the collective memory of the Massacre faded. This time around, Jiang had at his disposal, far more sophisticated technology from which to draw.
He ordered the production of a television program that would play out so-called acts of savagery by the student-demonstrators: military vehicles were purposely incinerated to create shocking footage for the program. The idea was to convince China that the army had no alternative but to fire at the students. Before long, sure enough, many, who had not themselves been present at the Massacre, started to believe the lies. Many came to think there had indeed been a rebellious uprising in Beijing.
Along with this, Jiang Zemin gave orders, that persons from all walks of life, who had participated in the demonstrations, and supported the students, or who had resisted the suppression, or abetted the civilians, all be exposed, and punished, baring none. And so, it’s that discussion and memory of the Massacre have been, through a formula of lie and intimidation, basically snuffed out inside China.
No matter what’s the explanation, it’s wrong for the tanks to chase people and crush them. That’s why the Party needed to clear up what it called”the rumor”. A doctoral student at the Ministry of Propaganda was dragged to the Martial Law Military Unit where he was interrogated and tortured.
“Did you see it yourself?” they asked. He replied: “Yes. I did. I’m a member of the Party and have to be honest with the Party. I’ll admit to what I actually saw. I did see it.”
He was electrocuted with a thousand-volt electrical baton and passed out.
This was repeated several times. At last, after several rounds, the student said: “No, I didn’t see it.” He had been a promising Party successor. However, this time, he witnessed the Party’s true color first hand. The Party claims that they speak the truth and that honesty is important. It turned out that the Party totally prohibits people from speaking the truth. His physical health was badly damaged from the torture, and he became mentally unstable.
The story of Fang Zheng is every bit as telling as it’s chilling. Fang was a graduate student from Beijing University of Physical Education, whose legs were run over by a tank and severed. He had been a record holder in handicapped games.
However, when his story in the Massacre became known, he was barred from the games.
Sixteen years after the Massacre during an interview with Epoch times, Fang shared the following about the incidence:
” I didn’t have time to duck the tank, and was knocked to the ground. The tank then ran over my legs. Tank treads have many chains and wheel gears turning in them, and I felt my pants getting pulled into the tread gears by the chains. There was a tremendous force. I was slightly conscious and could tell that my body was being dragged on the ground.
Later, the doctor at the hospital told me that my head, back, and shoulders had been bruised and lacerated. After the chain on the treads shredded my pants, and macerated my legs, I fell to the ground, and rolled to the side of the street near the sidewalk fence. My right leg was severed at the upper thigh. The left leg, at the knee”.
Important to Jiang is that memory of the Massacre be weakened, blurred, and distorted over time such that the event will not be readdressed, or the government’s power will not be challenged. In the process of hiding truth, shifting blame, and purging those who spoke of the truth, Jiang Zemin came to have decisive control over the government propaganda machinery, and use of violence.
Later, Jiang would employ similar tactics to persecute the practitioners of Falun Gong.