China Deng's Big Lie

The hard-liners rewrite history to justify arrests and bury democracy

NEWS BULLETIN: the bloodiest urban massacre in Communist China's history never took place. Thousands of troops never stormed the perimeters of Tiananmen Square. Hundreds, probably thousands, of students never died. Photographs depicting bloodied faces and battered bodies, news footage documenting the clatter of gunfire and the crunch of army tanks, foreign press reports detailing the pileup of dead and wounded bodies at hospitals -- none of it happened.

Instead, what transpired was this: as army convoys moved toward Tiananmen in the early-morning hours of June 4, troops were viciously attacked by rioters brandishing fire bombs and guns financed by "overseas reactionary...

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