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25 years on, Tiananmen barely known to China youth
« on: June 02, 2014, 03:10:44 AM »
BEIJING (AP) — Born in 1989, Steve Wang sometimes wonders what happened in his hometown of Beijing that year. But his curiosity about pro-democracy protests and the crackdown on them passes quickly.

"I was not part of it," he said. "I know it could be important, but I cannot feel it."

A quarter century after the Communist Party's attack on demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, it is little more than a distant tale to most young Chinese. The ruling party prohibits public discussion and 1989 is banned from textbooks and Chinese websites.

Many have managed to learn something about the crackdown, through people they know, by navigating around China's tight Internet controls or by traveling abroad. Some are aware of the iconic image of resistance — the lone Chinese man standing in front of a line of tanks moving down the Avenue of Eternal Peace.

But often, they seem not to care. They grew up in an atmosphere of nationalism and pride over two decades of strong economic growth. The turmoil caused by a student movement 25 years ago seems irrelevant to a generation more worried about finding jobs and buying an apartment.

"They basically don't bother to try to find out further," said Fu King-wa, a journalism professor at Hong Kong University. "Even if they learn about it, they believe in the government version."
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In this May 7, 2014 photo, Wang Jiaying, left, chats …
In this May 7, 2014 photo, Wang Jiaying, left, chats with Lu Qiuxuan as they walk out from their uni …

Rowena He, author of the book "Tiananmen Exiles," about lives of student protesters after the crackdown, said many Chinese students abroad claim they know a lot about it, but in fact know little. "Some others would say, 'We knew what happened, so what?' That's typical," said He, who teaches at Harvard University.

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It's amazing what total control of the media can achieve.
Before you bitch about the youth of today ... think about who raised them.

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