The Republic that Wasn’t

October 23, 2013

Taiwan was a republic in name only until its first open democratic election in 1996; Chiang Kai-shek [1887 – 1975], the president-for-life that the United States supported, was a brutal dictator and a mass murderer.

I knew about Chiang Kai-shek being responsible for the Shanghai massacre of 1927—also known as the White Terror. It was this atrocity that launched the Civil War [1927 – 1936; 1946 – 1950] between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party. Before then, both parties were part of Sun Yat-sen’s Chinese republic. Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, and it was his death that marked the beginning of the end of the republic he was building with several political parties.

Sun Yat-sen believed that three different political systems could co-exist: Nationalism, Democracy and Socialism.

Then by accident, I stumbled on a Blog about the “228 Massacre” in Taiwan in 1947 when Kuomintang soldiers under orders from Cheng Kai-shek slaughtered 30,000 Taiwanese citizens. It was the first time I’d heard of this incident. Source Blog: Patrick Cowsill

In comparison, when I Googled “Tiananmen Square protests”—about the so-called 1989 Massacre in Tiananmen Square—I discovered that, “Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic protest in Peking’s (Beijing) Tiananmen Square. Source: BBC

However, the Tiananmen Square protests did not start as a democracy protest—democracy was not a subject of the incident until college students joined the protests a few weeks into the incident started by Chinese workers protesting corruption in the government.

The “228 Massacre” was also a protest about government corruption in Taiwan.

Here’s what the BBC had to say about the Taiwan incident, “The event was an uprising sparked by the beating of a female vendor by authorities for selling untaxed cigarettes. Between 18,000 and 28,000 people are said to have been killed in riots and a subsequent crackdown.” Source: BBC

Compare the language.  When it was about the Communists, it was a “bloody military operation to crush a democratic protest” but when the killings were committed by an American ally ruled by a brutal dictator, it was “an uprising…sparked by the beating of a female vendor by authorities.”

Of course, we will always remember the man standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square. Have you forgotten what happened in Taiwan yet?  If that man had stepped in front of a tank in Taiwan, he would have been road kill.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Capitalist Revolution (Part 8 of 9)

July 5, 2010

At Deng’s home, China’s leaders argued about what to do.  For a month, Deng resisted using force. He said, “Of course we want democracy, but we can’t do it in a hurry. If our one billion people jump into multi-party elections, we’d get chaos like the civil war we saw in the Cultural Revolution….”  Finally, Deng agreed to order martial law, but he wanted one more meeting with the student leaders.

The students were arrogant and demanded that the meeting be broadcast live so the nation could watch. One student leader said it wasn’t you who summoned us here. We summoned you. There was no way to bargain with them, and the students were disorganized.

The government’s negotiator said, “If you can’t control the situation and your comrades, then I won’t deal with you!”

The next day, the army was ordered into the city’s center, but demonstrators blocked roads and some army units joined the demonstrators.

One business leader warned the students not to push the party into a corner. Two weeks went by with the army and the demonstrators facing each other.

Finally, orders came to clear Tiananmen Square. Tens of thousands of soldiers moved on central Beijing.  Tanks rolled down streets.  There were announcements. “Stay in their homes. Democracy must come slowly step by step. You can’t grab it in the streets.”

The army closed in but the demonstrators were not afraid. Instead, they were angry. Then the army opened fire and the huge crowd turned and fled. Firebombs were tossed at military vehicles. Soldiers fired back. Demonstrators were shot and killed. Estimates of the dead ranged from 200 to 2,000.  It was a disaster for both sides.

Return to China’s Capitalist Revolution Part 7 or go to Part 9

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s Capitalist Revolution (Part 7 of 9)

July 4, 2010

In the first three months of 1989, more than six-thousand corrupt officials were convicted. Many more were beyond the reach of investigators since some had the protection of high-ranking party officials in Beijing.

Then Deng’s right-hand man, who was very popular with the people, died from a heart attack. Without his voice to speak for the people, anger erupted over the corruption and rising prices. People flooded Tiananmen Square.

The protesters were not demanding Western style politics or an end to Communist Party rule as many in the West believe.  They wanted the government to listen to their opinions about   reforms and corruption.  The banners the protesters carried said, “We Support the Great Glorious Communist Party of China.”

However, inside the Great Hall of China, Deng was told the demonstrators wanted to overthrow the Communist Party.  Deng reacted with anger. He believed that Western style democracy would end China’s growth. He said, “We can’t have the separation of powers. We can’t copy the West.”

College students and workers came to Tiananmen Square to show support. Russia’s President Gorbachev arrived to see China’s progress.  The demonstrations were happening at the worst possible time. The protesters were an embarrassment.

As soon as Gorbachev left, Deng called a meeting to discuss what to do.  There were reports that people all over China were protesting.

Return to China’s Capitalist Revolution Part 6 or go to Part 8

_________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square?

April 5, 2010

I’ve heard from several Chinese American friends (now US citizens), who lived in China in 1989, that the student leaders behind the Tiananmen Square protest/massacre (April 14  to June 4, 1989) were supported by the CIA.

Oh, come on, I thought, another conspiracy theory!

However, my curiosity was stirred, so I spent hours hunting the internet for clues that this might be true. I discovered several coincidences that raised an eyebrow.

The U.S. Ambassador in China at the time, James Lilley (April 20, 1989 to 1991), was a former CIA operative who worked in Asia and helped insert CIA agents into China. President H. W. Bush served as Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing (1974 – 1976) , then went to serve as Director of the CIA (1976 – 1977).

Why did President H. W. Bush replace Winston Lord as ambassador to China (1985-1989) during the early days of the Tiananmen Square incident with a former CIA agent? After all, Lord spoke some Chinese and was a key figure in the restoration of relations between the US and China in 1972.  Wasn’t he the best man for the job during a crisis like this?

I returned to my friends and asked, “How do you know the CIA helped the student leaders of the protest?”

“It’s obvious,” was the answer. The reason, my friends explained, was the fact that it is very difficult, almost impossible, for anyone in China to get a visa to visit the United States. Yet most of the leaders of the Tiananmen incident left China quickly and prospered in the West without any obvious difficulty. After these student leaders came to the West, many were successful and became wealthy.

I returned to my investigation to verify these claims. Let’s Welcome Chinese Tourists was one piece I read from the Washington Post documenting how difficult it was to get a visa to visit the US from China. I read another piece in the Chicago Tribune on the same subject. My wife told me her brother and two sisters were denied visas to the US.

After more virtual sleuthing, I learned that Wang Dan, one of the principal organizers of the Tiananmen incident, went to jail because he stayed in China when most of the student leaders fled. Today, Wang lives in the West and cannot go back. Two others went to Harvard and a third went to Yale. Where did they get the money? It’s expensive to attend these private universities.

How about the other leaders who fled to the West? “Some have reincarnated themselves as Internet entrepreneurs, stockbrokers, or in one case, as a chaplain for the U.S. military in Iraq. Several have been back to China to investigate potential business opportunities.” Source: Time

Lahsa, Tibet

Then there are the Dalai Lama and Tibetan separatists who have received CIA support. “The Dalai Lama himself was on the CIA’s payroll from the late 1950s until 1974, reportedly receiving $US15,000 a month ($US180,000 a year). The funds were paid to him personally, but he used all or most of them for Tibetan government-in-exile activities, principally to fund offices in New York and Geneva, and to lobby internationally.” Sources: Infowars; The CIA’s Secret War In Tibet and the CIA. “Retired CIA officer Roger E. McCarthy published his book, which describes his role in support of the CIA’s assistance to the Tibetan resistance to China’s occupation of Tibet, which began in 1950.”

Yes, the circumstantial evidence was compelling, but maybe all of these facts are just a coincidence.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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