04 June 2008

Openness in the Middle Kingdom

The most senior Chinese official jailed for sympathising with the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests has urged the leadership to make public the events that led to the government's decision to crush the pro-democracy movement.

The demonstrations, which lured more than a million people on to Beijing's streets, ended in a military crackdown on June 4 of that year. Now a fading memory, the massacre is still taboo in the Chinese media.

Bao Tong, once the top aide to purged Party chief Zhao Ziyang, argued that China has been praised for its transparency in handling the devastating May 12 earthquake and should also reveal the rifts in the leadership that led to the massacre.

"Through this quake ... they have tasted the benefits of openness and should know that openness is better than being closed," Bao told Reuters in an interview at his Beijing home.

Sounds good to me.

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