Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Chinese model and the AKP

Cihan News Agency - 09.06.2014 

Twenty-five years ago in June, the world was witnessing the astonishing end of the Cold War. In the Soviet Union, President Mikhail Gorbachev was busy implementing glasnost and perestroika, while East Germans defied the Berlin Wall and the regime in Poland abruptly came to an end.  While these momentous events were unfolding, all eyes then turned to China's Tiananmen Square, where a popular protest movement was gaining momentum. Twenty-five years ago, on June 4th, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) decided to take action and brutally crushed the protest. The exact numbers are still unknown, but thousands are believed to have been killed when the army fired on civilian protesters. The majority were probably students.  In a tragic way, the crackdown worked. While the Soviet Union has disappeared, the CCP is still running China. Yet, the Chinese one-party regime and the police state are still haunted by what happened 25 years ago. The clearest evidence of this fear was the extraordinary measures taken by the Chinese police in Tiananmen Square this week. No locals or foreign press were allowed into the square by Chinese authorities who feared attempts to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the massacre. The Gezi protesters who were not allowed into Taksim Square last week to commemorate the first year anniversary of their movement would have felt right at home in Beijing where police measures kept people out the city's main square.