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Post-Tiananmen China wields iron fist in golden glove

Published on May 29, 2014 1:36 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China's Communist Party has a tighter grip on power than ever, analysts and activists say, courtesy of its economic boom and vast surveillance mechanisms, rather than the tanks and bullets of the Tiananmen crackdown.

Shaken by the 1989 democracy demonstrations that ended in a bloody and globally condemned crackdown, Beijing resolved to thwart any remotely similar threat to its power by reinforcing its huge "public security" apparatus, and raising incomes and living standards.

There has never been any repetition, and any fledging citizens' reform movements that do emerge - let alone an overt pro-democracy campaign - are rapidly crushed in the bud.

"Today the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party has a better technique than 1989 in controlling people's unrest," said Wu'er Kaixi, a student leader at the time who became the government's second-most wanted person before fleeing to Taiwan.

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