Mon | Nov 30, 2020

What of Tiananmen Square?

Published:Thursday | June 6, 2019 | 12:09 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

We all have concerns regarding China’s all-too-rapid takeover of just too many countries in recent years, including Jamaica. Many are asking what is their ultimate strategic goal, beyond making money and providing work for many of their people who work overseas.

It is interesting that Tuesday’s Gleaner carried an article titled ‘China issues travel alerts’, which refers only to the ongoing trade war between the USA and China, and not to the Tiananmen Square anniversary, which is on the news everywhere else. Has China really changed since that bloody crackdown of 30 years ago, given its current treatment of Muslims and Tibet?

Although we know that the USA is no haven of democracy or freedom (with so much of the population incarcerated and its own treatment of Muslims), its comments on Tiananmen have not gone down well with the Chinese authorities. Reference to the massacre is, to this day, heavily censored in China, and no apology has ever been given for the crackdown on those calling for a more open, democratic system. The BBC reports the following reaction by a Chinese spokesperson “... the USA had used the pretext of human rights for a statement that grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs ... filled with prejudice and arrogance [and] anyone who attempted to patronise and bully the Chinese people ... will only end up in the ash heap of history”.

Jamaica cannot, of course, escape criticism for its own record in recent years with Tivoli/west Kingston in 2010 (and before) and the current ever-to-be-extended states of ­emergency. It is thus of concern that the Holness administration is hugging up both China and Netanyahu’s Israel at the moment, countries that show no remorse when they trample on human rights. It would be good if some comment could come from our own ­Government regarding the Tiananmen ­anniversary and what it might mean for Jamaica.

Paul Ward