Thursday, June 04, 2009
Twenty Years Ago – Tiananmen Square
I remember watching the news feed break into the, “regularly scheduled programming”. I can still see, in my minds eye, Peter Jennings announce that tanks were literally rolling over students who were protesting the fact that they wanted to have democracy in their homeland – that the simple right to gather was being trampled on the other side of the globe.
That was twenty years ago. Here is a pretty good article on the anniversary: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090604/ap_on_re_as/as_china_tiananmen_28.
Twenty years. China, hosted the last Olympics and it truly was a sight to behold. Old and new, ancient and cutting edge; I can only assume that China itself must be, at once, a similar occurrence, a culmination of both of those worlds. Hong Kong has become the epicenter of the financial tsunami that China has morphed into; a truly wondrous example of capitalism at work. I wonder what would happen if some of the principals of democracy were in place there. I wonder what would happen if the people of China were able to be free; free to vote, to gather, to speak their minds, to pursue whatever their desires are for their own lives – what a staggering super power they would be.
I understand that all of the theoretical systems of government look good on paper and I know that we have our own problems right here in our own democracy; yadda, yadda, yadda – but still the very chance to be free, to live free – that alone is worth it.
Who’s to say what the next twenty years will bring? Hong Kong is a prime example of capitalism today. They also have freedoms that the rest of China only dream of. Who is to say, in the future Tibet and the whole of China may be free. One never knows. In the above linked article, Cheung Man Kwong says, “Hong Kong is China’s conscience.” He may be onto something.