China and the West Government's Perception


As we know, there was a famous and important event that happened in China. We called it Tiananmen Square event as well. It happened in 1989, According to this event, we can find out there were two points of view between Western and the Chinese government. Although the Chinese Government reluctant to face this commotion and reported the truth to outside, the western countries are more objective and use their own way to tell the truth to people. This essay will illustrate how this event has been perceived in the Western countries and the Chinese government.  The Chinese have refused to reassess the event as they describe it as a “counter- revolutionary rebellion” they handle the event with high secrecy and as they commemorate the event in the anniversary, it is handled with tight security whereby Chinese security forces sometimes harassing dissidents, writers, academics and other pro-democrats and warning them not to discuss the matter.

In June 1989, Wang Dan was the student leader was the one who aided organize the people’s protest for democracy in the Tiananmen Square. The demonstrations in the square left thousands of people dead after the Chinese government attacked the civilians and the students who had assembled in the square. The demonstrations started on a very small scale after the death of Hu Yaobang, who was a reformist and a former communist party leader who did things his own way. For six weeks, civilians and students from across the nation assembled at the square and had marches protesting.  There were about 1million protesters had assembled and the Chinese government gave an order for the military contingent to attack the protesters. There were tanks and artillery used against the defenseless students and civilians as the world watched in horror. The student leader, Wang, said in one of his interviews “I still worry about the state of human rights in my native country” Scenes of brutality and the chaos that transpired was broadcasted all over US stations as journalists covered the whole event live and the brutality of the Chinese military was showcased to the whole world. The fear instilled by the Chinese government made the students and civilians who were involved decide not to talk to the media at all.

The western media however were not threatened by the violent actions of the military. The West viewed this as actions against humanity and was not afraid to broadcast images of wounded people and dead bodies all over to show how the government was violating the human rights. The US government termed the Chinese government to have little regard for human life that took place in Beijing, Tiananmen Square.

Many countries including the US gave the Chinese government a cold shoulder and the US gave any individual who claimed involvement asylum in the Tiananmen Square massacre. The Chinese government was viewed by the US as having a bad reputation which they commonly term as “Butchers of Beijing” and hold accusations against them.

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Twenty years after the Tiananmen Square event, the US still urges China to come to terms to what happened to its people, the current secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, issued a statement saying that “the 20th anniversary should be used to commemorate the loss of the innocent lives of the resident and the events that preceded that fateful day. She said that China should examine openly the darker events of its past and provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing so as people can learn and heal”.

The US have decided that they will not a cookie- cutter approach to human rights since the Chinese forces were blanketing the city as well as blocking the internet services, they US administrators have decided to merge with other states who have the same issue regarding the Tiananmen event and solve it in the most effective way. The West always insist that if reformers in the party had sided with the protestors maybe there  could have been a genuine reform-minded government and this could have paved way for multiparty system. As a result, the massacre could have been evaded and China could have still retained its glorious name and avoided economy sanctions and rivalry from other nations.

Chinese government was adamant and silent on the proceedings that took place. There were live broadcasts of a government official unplugging a satellite transmitter that was carrying CBS’s broadcast so that there will be no broadcast to the outside world. China experienced economic downturns and scorn from other nations but it continued its policies toward civilians dissents and in anniversaries of the Military attack, the Chinese government still maintains denial and repression on the Tiananmen Square massacre. Each year in June 4th, there is heavy police deployment in the city and international news channels broadcasts commemorating the event are blocked or sometimes interrupted as even hotels are also instructed to unplug satellite connections to CNN. To this day, the Chinese government still calls the Tiananmen event as a counter-revolutionary riot and refuses to take responsibility. Talking about the Tiananmen massacre remains a taboo as there is no mention in textbooks or media, the names of the victims have been denounced and never published, parents and relatives of the deceased are banned from mourning in public, during anniversaries anything that pertains to the massacre is shutdown. Therefore, the Chinese government’s objective of the massacre to be buried and forgotten is achieved as people who know about it are not allowed o talk about it and those born after the massacre know little or nothing about it and the Tiananmen event is slowly fading in China. But in the West, it will never be forgotten as people saw what happened live in the broadcasts and they try there best to make Chinese government to admit their wrong doings against humanity.


It is evident from the above that Chinese government perception towards the massacre is that they are still in denial of being responsible for the attacks that saw thousands of students and civilians lost their lives and others were badly injured. Even years later on, the government is still adamant to speak on the event and are still very cautious on the anniversaries of the massacre as they block satellite CNN transmissions and any international news channel that broadcast the events. Many people were injured, others lost their lives, but the Chinese government is not ready to accept that what they did was wrong and compensation is in order for the pain and torture that the civilians and students went through. The west in the other hand, see that the Chinese government was on the wrong for opening fire and tanks to its own civilians and students for protesting against the killings of another civilian, the West view the events as being against human rights and demean the human life. The West wants the Chinese government to own up to the mistakes and build a peaceful nation and heal the wounds of thousands of scarred citizens.  They were not afraid to broadcast live killings, dead bodies and uncouth behaviors of other government officials during the massacre as they wanted to let the world see the inhuman acts of a government to its citizens.

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