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Social Stability and the Legacy of Tiananmen Square
[9 April 2010, Comments Off on Toppled Government in Kyrgyzstan Raises Uncomfortable Memories for Beijing, Tags: , , , , , , , ]

Most commentary on the April 7th protests and apparent collapse of Kyrgyzstan’s government has focused on the Kyrgyz political situation, the failure of the 2005 Tulip Revolution, (former?) president Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s autocratic behavior, and the roles of the United States and Russia.

But I want to turn readers’ attention to the relevance of this event for China. And there could even be serious implications for U.S. global economic and political priorities.

This week’s events in Kyrgyzstan parallel, in some ways, China’s own Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Those were also a fairly spontaneous, nation-wide movement responding to both political repression and rising prices. In both 1989 China and 2010 Kyrgyzstan, many policemen and soldiers refused to attack their countrymen. Both culminated in violence in the capital (though the Chinese student protest movement, unlike the Kyrgyz opposition, was unarmed and peaceful).

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China, Publications, U.S. Policy »

Dates: 28-29 April 2006.

Keynotes: Christopher R. Hill, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; Peter W. Rodman, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs; and Wang Guangya, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations.

Panels: Politics and Society in China; China, the United States, and the World; U.S. Business and Government – Responding to the China Challenge; and China’s Future in the Age of Globalization.

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