Re: The ongoing debate on China’s human rights record.
It is, of course, entirely proper to criticise Chinese atrocities but it is also wise to see them in a broader context.
China’s brutal repression of the Tiananmen Square demonstration should be unconditionally condemned as a grave violation of the human rights of peaceful demonstrators. Nevertheless it is important to realise that killing citizens who have assembled peacefully for mass demonstrations is a common practice of many governments, including those Western administrations now busy criticising China for repression.
To cite just a few examples of Western governments’ readiness to employ deadly force against their own citizens:
United States: The Kent State massacre of May 4, 1970.
France: The Paris massacre of October 17, 1961.
Germany: The massacre of June 2, 1967.
Israel: The killing of Arab citizens of Israel in Kafr Quasim in 1956.
Of course, not only Western governments are apt to use deadly force against their own; we know many examples of such cases elsewhere in the world.