Party Officials Propose Redressing Tiananmen Square Massacre
Party Officials Propose Redressing Tiananmen Square Massacre

Participants at the 180,000-strong Tiananmen Square Massacre Candlelight Vigil in Hong Kong hold up candles and posters, commemorating the victims. (Sung Pi Lung/The Epoch Times)

Momentum is building within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to correct the injustices done to those who participated in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests—or, in Party jargon, to redress the June 4 incident. While the move to redress appears widespread, a key issue separates competing proposals from Party officials—whether those responsible for the Tiananmen Square massacre should be held accountable for their actions.

Multiple proposals for redressing the Tiananmen Square event have recently been put forward, with initiatives coming from Premier Wen Jiabao, the presumptive next head of the CCP—Xi Jinping, and officials with the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC).

According to the Financial Times, Wen has proposed redressing the 1989 student protests on three separate occasions in secret top-level Party meetings.

The June issue of Hong Kong’s Frontline Magazine identified the “three separate occasions” to be at the year-ends of 2010 and 2011, and in March 2012.

A dissident Chinese-language news website from outside China recently reported that Wen has stated publicly that it was an inhumane decision to deny the chance to return to China to students exiled because of their participation in the June 4 protests, even though many of their parents are now dying or have already passed away.

The Frontline Magazine report also said Xi Jinping has instructed the preparation committee of the 18th Congress to draft a plan for redressing the 1989 student protests. The draft plan includes compensation for victims and their families, the restoration of the reputations of those implicated, and bringing those responsible for the massacre to justice.

Wen and Xi are assumed to be allies on most issues.

Proposals by Jiang’s Faction

According to Hong Kong’s Chengming Magazine, three vice chairpersons of the NPCSC, Lu Yongxiang, Han Qide, and Jiang Shusheng, recently submitted a proposal to the CCP Central Committee at a meeting in which they listed six suggestions for redressing the June 4 student protests.

During a meeting of the CPPCC, its Vice Chairman Bai Lichen also called for the redress of the June 4 incident, said the Chengming Magazine report.

The plans put forward by officials with the NPCSC and CPPCC do not call for holding accountable those responsible for the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Should officials be held accountable, chief among those who could be brought to justice for the massacre and other crimes is former Party chief Jiang Zemin.

The Tiananmen Square massacre was a pivotal event in Jiang’s political career. In 1989, as Party chief of Shanghai, Jiang suppressed the liberal newspaper the World Economic Herald and, while other provincial officials waited, very promptly supported the Central Party’s call for martial law in mid-May.

According to The Real Story of Jiang Zemin, Deng Xiaoping, pleased at Jiang’s show of toughness, secretly made him general secretary in the days before the massacre. After the massacre, Jiang was responsible for chasing down and suppressing the remnants of the democracy movement.

The NPCSC and CPPCC are controlled by Jiang’s close allies—Wu Bangguo and Jia Qinglin, respectively.

Jiang is currently believed to be in a vegetative state, but any Party discipline aimed at Jiang would affect a large group of Party officials.

Jiang is the head of the bloody-hands faction, so-called because of its responsibility for carrying out the 13-yearlong persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong.

That faction has been under pressure as Bo Xilai, who was expected to lead the faction, has been purged from his Party posts, and domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang, the faction’s current leader, has been placed under investigation by the Party.

Redressing Falun Gong

The proposals from the NPCSC and CPPCC officials appear to be an attempt by members of Jiang’s faction to use the desire to redress the June 4 incident as a way of building their own prestige.

Washington, D.C.-based China expert Shi Zangshan told The Epoch Times Jiang’s supporters now are claiming that Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping were actually ordered by Jiang to support the redress. Shi added that this is the Jiang faction’s attempt to ride on the coattails of the movement to redress the June 4th incident and muster public support.

Shi said that for some of the CCP officials the calls to redress June 4 are intertwined with redressing the persecution of Falun Gong.

Shi said that for some of the CCP officials the calls to redress June 4 are intertwined with redressing the persecution of Falun Gong. Shi said he believes that Wen Jiabao and his supporters have been testing the waters to determine the right time to redress Falun Gong.

A Chinese-language news website from outside China published an article on June 2 that said, “When Xi Jinping takes office, he will have a better foundation, in terms of public opinion and international environment, to take the initiative to redress the June 4 massacre.”

The article also praised Xi Jinping by saying that he “will have enough political courage to face the June 4 issue.”

When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

Read the original Chinese article.

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