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deja vu all over again - Chinese style

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    Almost exactly 30 years ago, the protests in Tiananmen Square lasted from the death of reformer Hu Yaobang on April 15 to June 4, 1989, but the "tank man" made his appearance on June 5 and June 6.

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    Set off by the death of Hu Yaobang in April 1989, amid the backdrop of rapid economic development and social changes in post-Mao China, the protests reflected anxieties about the country's future in the popular consciousness and among the political elite. The reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy which benefited some people but seriously disaffected others, and the one-party political system also faced a challenge of legitimacy. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy, and restrictions on political participation. The students called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, although they were highly disorganized and their goals varied. At the height of the protests, about 1 million people assembled in the Square

    Overall death totals are unknown, but were in the thousands.

    The protests led to a strengthened role for the party in domestic affairs. In its aftermath, many of the freedoms introduced during the 1980's were rescinded, as the party returned to a conventional Leninist mold and re-established firm control over the press, publishing, and mass media. Eventually, many of the restrictions were loosened

    The 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests are a series of ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong against the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill proposed by the government of Hong Kong.

    Demonstrations against the bill started in March and April, but increased in June. As of this morning, the protests are still ongoing, and demonstrators have effective closed down the Hong Kong airport, one of the busiest airports in the world.

    Although the reasons for the 1989 and 2019 protests differ, the main point of disagreement is concern by protesters over increased control by the government in mainland China.

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    Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam has finally fully withdrawn a controversial bill that allowed extradition to mainland China and sparked three months of dramatic protests in the financial hub.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead, anthropologist, recipient of the Planetary Citizen of the Year Award in 1978.

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    If anyone has seen the masses of people protesting in Hong Kong, it was hardly a small group of people. China's problem was that the whole world was watching and waiting to see if China would react and beat down protestors like they had in the past.