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China in the 20th Century Sources Questions

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Affia Mustafa11D

Modern World Study

China in the 20th Century

Coursework Assignment 4

1. The article, ‘Dissidents stalked by Chinese police’, describes how, after the Tiananmen Square incident, citizens were literally stalked by the police for ‘re-education’.

Wang Hui, a Chinese citizen, was believed to be taken in by the police because she objected to the unjust arrest of her husband. Her friends have reason to believe that after failure to contact Wang Hui, they could only conclude one thing; the police, following her husband’s arrest, had taken her.

        “…Police began continuous surveillance of Wang Hui, the wife of jailed activist Zhou Guioqiang. Concern for her safety intensified yesterday after she failed to make contact with friends for two days. They fear she could be held by the police.”

Before the article was written, the citizens had a special ‘code’ to make sure that the networks of houses located to them were always safe. The method was by telephoning each other at set times during the day. This would make sure that the little ‘circle’ of friends is still safe from the police. This method was also efficient in a way that if anyone did get taken away then they would be alerted very quickly.

This new method of taking the spouse away was relatively new. Before this law was enforced,

“Such tactics mark a change in how authorities deal with spouses seeking justice for their partners. In the past they have just stood back and watched as dissidents’ wives stimulated publicity.”

...read more.


While the battalions of police did manage to keep unrest from sweeping across the square, the heavy-handed tactics only exposed a weakness in the world's most populous nation. 

Once again, China was unable to quiet the voice of Falun Gong followers. They shouted from vans as they were being taken away. They screamed to onlookers as the police knocked them to the ground.

Tiananmen Square was the scene of nearly constant protest throughout the day. In small clusters, teams would race into the center of the square, pulling out a hidden banner before police converged. This reporter watched as one man was knocked to the ground and hustled away in seconds.

The series of protests, clearly organized in advance, reiterated what many have been murmuring for months in official circles: Beijing's hard-headed approach is not winning the year-long battle with the pesky Falun Gong. 

Beijing would desperately like to deliver a knockout blow to the group, which has gained immense popularity in the mainland since its formation in 1992. The group offers a rare and refreshing philosophy that mixes mediation and exercise. China condemns it as a religious cult. The Falun Gong was outlawed last July.

Yet, despite mass arrests, long sentences in labor camps administered without trial, and other harsh measures that have earned China fresh-new condemnation by human rights groups worldwide - as well as providing new ammunition for foes opposing the country's entry to the World Trade Organization in America - Beijing has been unable to crush the Falun Gong.

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        ‘I have a home, but I cannot go home,’ Wang Dan, 25, said. ‘I cannot stand the harassment’.”

Here the young man is being harassed and given death threats from the police that make him feel uneasy and followed that force him into hiding.

The second article, ‘Only the mad remember the massacre’, is about how the Chinese police label citizens as mad just because they express themselves openly about the Tiananmen Square movement.

“The woman was clearly mad. She must have been mad because only the mad dare show their grief in public anymore.”

This shows that everyone else who had experienced the event pretends that it never happened. Only a few people are not afraid of expressing their feelings in public because they believe that it is wrong to deny such a major movement. Also, they may have experienced the loss of loved ones during the movement, which makes it difficult for them to pretend it never happened.

b) Despite the similarities, the two cuttings also have a few differences.

In the first article, ‘Dissidents stalked by Chinese police” the two activists are being stalked and taunted by the Chinese police and are not being ignored. However, in the second article, the old lady has been labelled as a mad woman simply because she has not forgotten the massacre; she is being ignored by the police.

4. I think that Chinese citizens were still challenging the government six years after the Tiananmen Square movement because they felt that they could still change the law if they rebelled enough. Also, people were told to pretend that the Tiananmen Square event never took place; if people threatened the government that they would repeat the incident again.

...read more.

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