Tianamen Square Anniversary: Just What Chinese Values Were Expressed?

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Monday June 04, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The world is commemorating the many Chinese who died at Tianamen Square on June 4-5, 1989 and afterwards. Ma Ying-jeou's Minister of Culture, however, would not make a statement on the massacre. Minister Lung Ying-tai said that to say anything wold affect n"negotiations between Taiwan and China on cultural issues." This is surprising since President Ma is always trying to stress Chinese values and culture. One can of course ask what Chinese values were expressed in the massacre at Tianamen Square?

That is a good question. We would not want to interrupt cultural negotiations over such piddly things as a massacre of innocent students. But then perhaps that is the part of Chinese values that most of those outside Beijing, and I guess President Ma's cabinet do not understand. Is the repression of rights and transparent openness a Chinese value? It certainly seems to be born out in history and the current administration. Or are there priorities in such values that we don't understand.