(Beijing, China) – Chinese government officials are taking a “nothing to see here!” approach to mark the 25th anniversary of their crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.
Instead, it’s celebrating the anniversary of its victory, offering a carnival-like atmosphere to its citizens, complete with rides, balloons, and guards carrying Kalashnikov rifles aimed at civilians.
“We invite all freedom-loving Chinese to come to Tiananmen Square and enjoy the festivities,” said a spokesman for the Chinese government, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And also to reaffirm our loyalty to the great, glorious, Communist rebellion.”
On June 4, 1989, the government sent in the military, including tanks and armored vehicles, to confront the unarmed protesters. To this day, no one knows how many died, but the estimates range from the hundreds to the thousands.
The bloody events were immediately followed up by a propaganda campaign to deny anything had happened – a process that has worked eerily well. Many visitors to Tiananmen Square today weren’t even aware of the anniversary.
“Today?” asked a Chinese citizen, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s ‘Bring Your Child to be Run Over by a Tank’ Day, isn’t it?”
In spite of government restrictions, there were some commemorations of the crackdown held in China. About 180,000 people in Hong Kong held a candlelight vigil. The former British colony has greater freedoms than those living in mainland China.
At great risk to themselves and their families, members of the Chinese Tea Party dumped boxes of Chinese tea into the Yalu River, which runs across the borders of China and North Korea.
“We do this to remember our pro-democracy brothers,” said a Chinese Tea Party spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We do this to remember the patriots in Boston in 1773. And we do this to protest Obama – because apparently that’s what Tea Partyists do.”
For its part, the White House called upon China for a full, honest explanation and accounting of the Tiananmen Square events, drawing a sharp rebuke from Chinese officials.
“When the United States provides a full, honest explanation and accounting of its 2003 invasion of Iraq, we’ll talk about Tiananmen Square,” said a spokesman for the Chinese government, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In other words: never.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Washington, protesters planned a march to the Chinese embassy for Wednesday evening. There will reportedly be speeches denouncing the crackdown. There will be signs denouncing the crackdown. There will be chants denouncing the crackdown. And there will be Moo Goo Gai Pan.
“We’re going to bring lots of Chinese food from a local takeout place,” said a march organizer, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And then we’re going to throw the cartons of Chicken Wings, Spare Ribs, Egg Foo Young, Pepper Steak, General Tso’s Chicken, and Moo Goo Gai Pan at the embassy building. That will show the Chinese that we’re fed up with their Tiananmen Square denials!”