Monday, October 17, 2011

Short memories

China: Occupy Wall Street's issues worth thought
BEIJING (AP) -- China's foreign ministry said Monday the Occupy Wall Street movement highlights issues that are worth considering, but that debates generated by the protests should promote global economic growth.
"We feel that there are issues here that are worth pondering," said Liu Weimin, a foreign ministry spokesman during a regular briefing in Beijing.
"We have also noticed that in the media there has been a lot of commentary, discussion and reflection. But we think that all of these reflections should be conducive to maintaining the sound and steady development of the world economy," Liu said, without elaborating.
The state-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial that the Chinese should "calmly observe the protest movement and the global situation, and not be confused by extreme points of view."

Earlier in the year, anonymous online calls for protests in China inspired by those that have swept across the Middle East and North Africa spooked the Chinese government into launching one of its broadest campaigns of repression in years. The calls for demonstrations every Sunday did not draw any overt protesters.

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Sure, they think the issues are "worth some thought" as long as the protests aren't happening in their own country.

Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
The protests were sparked by mass mourning over the death of former CPC General Secretary Hu Yaobang, a Party official who had been purged for his support of political liberalization.[5] By the eve of Hu's funeral, 100,000 people gathered at Tiananmen Square.[6] Beijing students began the demonstrations to encourage continued economic reform and liberalization,[7] and evolved into a mass movement for political reform.[7] From Tiananmen Square they later expanded to the surrounding streets. Non-violent protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai and Wuhan. Looting and rioting occurred in various locations throughout China, including Xi'an and Changsha.[8]
The movement used mainly non-violent methods and can be considered a case of civil resistance.[9] Led mainly by students and intellectuals, the protests occurred in the year that was to see the collapse of a number of communist governments in eastern Europe.
The movement lasted seven weeks after Hu's death on 15 April. Premier Li Peng, a hardline conservative, declared martial law on 20 May, but no military action took place until 4 June, when the tanks and troops of the People's Liberation Army moved into the streets of Beijing, using live fire while proceeding to Tiananmen Square to clear the area of protestors. The exact number of civilian deaths is not known, and the majority of estimates range from several hundred to thousands.[10] There was widespread international condemnation of the government's use of force against the protesters.[