The Corner

The Uninhibited Cruelty of the Chinese Communist Party

Hundreds of thousands of people fill Tiananmen Square in front of the Monument to People’s Heroes and Mao’s mausoleum in Beijing, China, May 17, 1989. (Ed Nachtrieb/Reuters)

The anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre is an opportunity to reflect on the Chinese Communist Party’s wanton cruelty and the ever-present danger to anyone that stands in its way. This is something that Chinese democrats, Hong Kongers, and the people of Taiwan know well: Given the chance and a reason to do so, Beijing has shown that it has few qualms about using indiscriminate violence to achieve its political ends.

That barbarism is encapsulated succinctly by firsthand accounts from the day, including in a British diplomatic cable about what took place. The author of the document wrote that he had

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