By Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, June 4th: The Chinese contemporary artist Ai Wei Wei decried the 30-year cover-up of Tiananmen massacre in an article in Guardian where he wrote, “even if the lives of an entire generation are wiped out, no prisons and no amount of lies or censorship can expunge or conceal the facts.”
He asserted that “June Fourth” is not an “incident”, a one-off event, but part of a political movement in which every major Chinese city participated and a complete definition of the historical event has not been realized to this day.
“It remains the most taboo and politically sensitive topic in China, much like the questions of Tibet and Xinjiang for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its machine of propaganda and censorship.”
Weiwei wrote that the regime compromised its legitimacy from the moment the first bullet was fired that day and nothing can change that. “If the CCP relied on violent revolution to overthrow the previous regime of the Nationalists and establish its legitimacy, then “June Fourth” once again overthrew the legitimacy of the ruling party.
The Ai Weiwei Perspective scarf featuring an image from the artist's series 'Study of Perspective - Tiananmen 1995–2003'
The high profile dissident recalls being in New York on that fateful day and claimed to have witnessed, through the CNN’s 24-hour broadcast, a more comprehensive version of the incident than his family in Beijing. He subsequently carried out solidarity demonstration, protest and hunger strike.
“As a political dissident, I insist on seeking the truth and resist attempts to change my memory of events.”
He reasons in the same article that memory of the past is an individual’s property and to deny it is to obliterate humanity and that CCP wants to conceal facts because its power was built on unjust foundations.
He refers to the CCP-dominated China as a society without citizens as the government still does not trust its people 70 years after being in power and the 1.4 billion Chinese have never in all these years had the opportunity to vote for their rulers. “As a result, there is no freedom of speech and information.”
The dissident lashed out at the west for its complicity in the cover-up of “June Fourth”, following which the west bought into the excuse that Chinese society would become more democratic after it became richer.
Attesting to how China has become wealthier and more powerful since then without maturing into pluralism or democracy, he wrote CCP’s rejection of fundamental values of openness, social justice, fair competition and freedom means everybody shall pay the price for this failure.
“Injustice is timeless. It haunts us and affects our state of mind until the day justice is served.”