Rising Again by ProQuest

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									                                                                    THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JUNE 2009
                                                                                                                             PAGE 21
CHINA
Kerry Brown SENIOR FELLOW, ASIA PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE




Rising Again
What image would China like the world to
remember as it takes a more prominent
place? Would it be Beijing’s smiling
leaders at the G20 summit, last year’s
Olympic Games, investment in Africa, its
navy back on the high seas, or trouble in
                                                           t              WENTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH,
                                                                           tanks from two crack divisions of
                                                                           the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
                                                                           rolled into the eastern side of
                                                                           Tiananmen Square. They had been
                                                                           ordered there by China’s then
                                                           paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, after a heated
                                                           debate at the highest levels of the leadership about
                                                           how to deal with the student and workers
                                                           demonstrations which had started that April, and
Tibet? And what of those disturbing                        simply failed to die down.
                                                               No definitive figures for how many died that
moments when tanks faced pro-                              night have even been released, and the incident
democracy protesters? How does China                       remains taboo in China. But the reaction from the
                                                           rest of the world combined shock and revulsion.
see its rise in international influence?                    The United States and the European Union

                                                                                           A P P H OTO/ M AT T D U N H A M
THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JUNE 2009
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          condemned what had happened. Many
          companies that had set up there withdrew for a
          time. China, temporarily, became a pariah.


          P EAC E F U L R I S E
              Fifteen years later, Chinese commentators,
          evidently with the support of politicians, began
          speaking of ‘the peaceful rise of China’. They were
          partly aware of the negative memories left by what
          had happened in 1989, and wished to reassure the
          rest of the world that China had continued to
    
								
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