Friday, June 4, 2021

Hu Xijin Says "Chinese Won't Forget About Tiananmen" - Even Though China's Internet Services Have

On June 3, 2021, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state sponsored "Global Times" posted the following on Twitter:

Chinese won't forget about Tiananmen incident.On the contrary, we'll constantly reflect on it in light of China’s development path since then as well as situation in many countries after color revolutions. It's futile for West to provoke Chinese society by commemorating the event

Source: This appears to becoming an annual tradition, as Hu posted something similar last year.

It is true that an Internet user in China can immediately find the PRC government's official version of the events by searching Baidu for "Tiananmen Incident" ("天安门事件") - the first result is from the Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily, which provides this summary:

  • May 20th, China Central Television broadcasts Li Peng and Yang Shangkun’s statements at the meeting of Party, government, and military cadres in the capital. Li Peng signed the State Council’s
    Order to implement martial law in different regions.
  • June 4th, the "Liberation Army Daily" published an editorial with the title "Resolutely Support the Party Central Committee's Policy Decisions, Resolutely Suppress the Counter-revolutionary Riots." 
  • 5月20日 中央电视台播放了李鹏、杨尚昆在首都党政军干部大会上的讲话。李鹏签署国务院关于在北京市部分地区实行戒严的命令。
  • 6月4日 《解放军报》发表题为“坚决拥护党中央决策,坚决镇压反革命暴乱”的社论。


But most search results are about another "Tiananmen Incident," which occurred in 1976. So an Internet user wanting more information so that they could "constantly reflect on" the 1989 Tiananmen Incident would need to specifically include search terms relating to "1989." Below are some examples of what users of PRC Internet services see when searching for information about what happened in and around Tiananmen Square in early June 1989.

A user of visiting Baidu's and Sogou's wikipedia articles for "1989" would find that nothing noteworthy happened in or around Tiananmen Square in June of that year. Sogou has no entry for "June 4th," and  Baidu's entry for "June 4th" reads:

  • June 4th-Poland held its first democratic elections, and the collective election for Walesa was held.
  • June 4th-Iranian President Khamenei was elected as the supreme leader of Iran.

 A user submitting the query "'1989 year' 'Tiananmen Incident''" ("1989年" "天安门事件") to Baidu's web search product would get no results (a query without the quotes will retrieve results, but only from websites under the direct control of the PRC government and the Communist Party of China - for example, People's Daily, Xinhua, and China Youth Daily).

 A user submitting the query "1989 year 'Tiananmen Incident''" (1989年 "天安门事件") to Baidu's image search product would get no results.

A user submitting the query "1989 year" (1989年) to Baidu's "Zhidao" Q&A product would get no results.

A user submitting the query "1989" to Baidu's "Tieba" PostBar forum product would get censorship notice that states: "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, relevant results have not been displayed." ( 抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,相关结果不予展现。).


Translation: Xu Zhiyong's Statement in His Own Defense

 Source: China Digital Times: On April 10, 2023, Xu Zhiyong, a well-known human rights de...