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The Chinese Spring

Today, the 3rd of June marks the 24th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. 24 years ago, on this day. the soldiers of the People's Liberation Army of China attacked the large student and worker led gathering at the Tiananmen Square who protested against the Government to press for more economic and political reforms.

Till date, the casualties remain unknown, thanks largely to the secretiveness of the People's Republic of China's Government over this issue. But various sources estimate the casualties to be running into thousands with many more injured.

This brutal massacre showcases the Government's casual attitude towards the lives of it's own citizens. Where does this sheer arrogance stem from? The fact that whatever the Government does, nothing can be done to overthrow it. Come whatever they know that the Communist Party of China will continue to rule. Any future protest can be crushed as easily as this one was.

Without a doubt, it is this one-party system that has helped China achieve the heights of economic prowess. The Government doesn't have to worry about elections, any sort of dissatisfaction from the people or fear any sort of political backlash to any of it's moves.

But at what cost has this economic prowess been achieved? At the cost of zero political freedom, at the cost of the hindering of some of the greatest minds in the world just because they didn't believe in communism and the Government's policies.

In 2010, the Nobel Peace Prize was won by Liu Xiaobo from China. In most other countries of a world, such a citizen would have been honored and hailed by the Government, but in China this is hardly the case. Liu Xiaobo is currently under arrest for subversion.

Even if public dissatisfaction is at an all-time high, the Chinese Government has nothing to fear. They have employed a carrot-and-stick policy. By ensuring that all members of the Communist Party get certain benefits and privileges, they have encouraged more and more people to join it. Hence, today the Communist Party has more than 70 million members, making it the largest political party in the world. And the And if anyone dares to protest again the Government, they will be crushed.

The greatest tragedy happens to be the lack of freedom of speech in China. Sitting in India, I have the right to freely criticize my Government. I have the freedom to speak and write about whatever I believe in. It allows me to progress, unhindered. The people in China don't have this opportunity. Nor can the people there read this blog, for blogger happens to be just one of the numerous sites which have been banned by the Chinese Government.

The Tiananmen Square incident, though it happened 24 years ago, exemplifies what is wrong with the Chinese political system. Without doubt, there is no danger to the Communist Government at present, but if the state of events continue, there is a high chance that a revolution might occur.

If China in it's present state has to survive in the long-term more political freedom must be provided. The people must given a say to carve out the future of themselves and their country. If the Chinese Government fails to recognize this, some day they will be overthrown.

Twenty years ago,  nobody had the foresight to predict the Arab Spring. There was no indication whatsoever of such a mass protest movement across the Arab World. It caught us by surprise wholly. Maybe twenty years down the line, so will the Chinese Spring.

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