‘People’s Republic of Amnesia’

WORLD

China has tightened security and widened a clampdown on dissent, ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, creating what one writer calls the ‘People’s Republic of Amnesia.’ (BBC and National Geographic News)

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Discussion Ideas

 

  • How does Louisa Lim, the author interviewed in the Nat Geo News article, think that the Chinese government has created an “amnesiac” society surrounding the Tiananmen Square massacre? Skip to the end of the article, with the question beginning “Given the Chinese government’s fears . . . ”
    • Prosperity. The Chinese economy has skyrocketed since 1989. Today, China has a larger wealthy class than it ever has. “Objectively, their lives have become better,” says Lim.
    • Fear. “Chinese propaganda has used these movements to say to people, ‘Look what happens when you give in to a democratic movement. It leads to chaos and destabilization.’,” Lim says.
    • Education. “Most young people have gone through two decades of patriotic education,” meaning they have been taught the mainstream, government view of events in 1989. “The mainstream view in China today is that the government in 1989 did what it had to do.”
    • Expanding freedom. “You no longer need the government’s permission to get married, to have children, to get a passport, to go overseas,” Lim says.

 

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