Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tian'anmen Square On The Anniversary

Yes, we were there, in Tian'anmen Square, on the twentieth anniversary of the "incident." We can only report what we experienced, as ordinary foreigners checking out the scene on a historically unusual day. We are not reporters, nor are we activists who would attract the attention of public security officials.

As for those officials, you may have read in western news accounts that security officials perhaps outnumbered tourists in the square. We witnessed nothing of the sort. There were plenty of domestic visitors, huddled under umbrellas to protect themselves from the blazing sun and heat. (It was about thirty five degrees that day, the hottest so far this year.)

There were also a number of foreigners in Tian'anmen. Speaking only for these four foreigners, we did not have our passports checked, nor was security at the entrance any tighter than it has been on any of our previous visits.

What we can say is that, scattered throughout the square, there were definitely more public officials than usual, but their presence was not aggressive, in-your-face, or anything like that. And we witnessed no tussles, or anything remotely out of the ordinary.

For us, on June 4, 2009, Tian'anmen Square was a place where you had to look fairly hard for evidence of tension. As is often the case in these parts, things looked pretty good out in the open spaces of society.

~Steve

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