June 4 Massacre is Shocking but the Survival of CCP Regime is More Shocking
June 4 Massacre 1989 was a shocking atrocity; but what is more shocking is that, 30 years later, the Chinese Communist Party, who shot his own people, is still in power. Not only Westerner but also East Asian neighbours do not understand how Chinese people can tolerate such a brutal government for 30 years. Democratisation in South Korea began 7 years after May 18 Gwangju Uprising, 1980, and in Taiwan gradually began 7 years after Formosa Magazine incident, 1979. But China is different. China does not remain stagnant—actually, in terms of human rights record, China is getting worse. 30 years before and there was no re-education camp imprisoning Uyghurs in Xinjiang, there was much less mass demolishment of churches. Internet does not bring freedom to Chinese; rather, it means stronger monitoring. Digital dictatorship is the worst dictatorship that we have ever seen. Your biometric data, your shopping records, your hobbies, your traveling—everything is monitored by the Internet Police and is controlled by the Social Credit System. It is impossible to have a mass demonstration in Beijing nowadays, for before you come out from home, the police has already known where you would like to go by monitoring your mobile phone.
But why the Chinese Communist Party is still in power, even though it shew its brutality to the world 30 years ago? One may blame the internet censorship of preventing young people from knowing the truth. But that’s not true. Having been studying in the United Kingdom for a few years, I realised that unlike Hong Kongese students, most mainland Chinese students are indifferent to everything happening in China. Uyghurs are sent to re-education camps? Oh, read. Tibetans burns themselves to protest against the government? Oh, noted. Either they avoid reading anything political, or they don’t care at all.
A few years ago I met a research fellow in Durham. He is from mainland China, and as an analytic philosopher, he loves democracy and freedom in the United Kingdom. He always went to my house to discuss philosophy with me. But he remains indifferent to China. I still clearly remember his words. He said, ‘this is China. To remain the stability and unity of China, autocracy is inevitable.’ But he can never answer my challenge: why does China worth to be a united and stable nation if its unity and stability are at the cost of human lives?
Indifference is terrifying. This Chinese philosopher is not pro-Communist at all. He loves democracy. He enjoys the freedom of speech, which is important for doing research. He is simply indifferent to China. He simply gives up China. For him, there is no hope for China at all. The best treatment for his despair is to find hope in a new place. That’s why he is always cheerful in our department. I wonder whether he would be so happy if he were still in China, where every student is required to study Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, Dang Xiaoping’s thoughts—and, recently, Xi Jinping’s ‘New Era Thought’.
I mourn for the June 4 massacre, but the majority of Chinese people do not, even if they know about the massacre. Chinese are simply indifferent to China. They only say, ‘oh, that’s China’. They are absolutely hopeless. They don’t think about the future. Therefore, they have no intention to question the cruel dictator. If any one of them is arrested, tortured, raped and killed by the party, the majority of the others would remain indifferent to them too. They think they cannot do anything. This is Chinese—so indifferent and so cruel, just like their government.
4th June, 2019