China Ordered a Media Blackout on the Tiananmen Square Protests

The government of China ordered a media blackout on the Tiananmen Square protests, as the 30th anniversary for the infamous event is observed around the world.

According to reports, Chinese authorities went to “extraordinary lengths” to block all media coverage and social media participation related to the crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Pro-Communist party media —all largely state controlled— including Xinhua, People’s Daily, Global Times, and CCTV made no mention of the anniversary. Those surfing the net in China were reportedly hard-pressed to find any mention of the crackdown, save for scant postings that made it past censors.

The colossal effort on the part of the Chinese government was nothing short of astounding. Major Western news sights, even those usually accessible in People’s Republic of China such as CNN, were blocked by government regulators. Similarly, all postings related to Tiananmen from overseas on any Chinese site (including social media) were blocked.

The situation in the “mainland” of China stood in sharp contrast to the environment in Hong Kong where mass vigils were held to commemorate the thousands of victims killed by the Chinese military on 4 June 1989.

Not surprisingly, the 30-year mark of Tiananmen triggered a war of words between the Trump administration and Chinese officials. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a scathing statement rebuking the regime for its actions. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the State Department’s release “maliciously attacks China’s political system, denigrates the state of China’s human rights and religious affairs, wantonly criticizes China’s Xinjiang policy and severely interferes in China’s domestic affairs.

“These lunatic ravings and babbling nonsense will only end up in the trash can of history,” concluded Shuang.

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Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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