Anticipating Monopoly Media Disinformation Deluge about a Tiananmen Square Massacre

Interview with author Wei Ling Chua

The other day, I counted 20 copies of a book called Forbidden City (1990) in a library. I picked it up and looked at the cover, and I realized it was about the so-called Tiananmen Square massacre. It was written as an on-the-spot account by a CBC news team during that time. By reading the minutiae, it is revealed to be a fictionalized account, as almost all western monopoly media reports of a Tiananmen Square massacre are — fiction.

As I write this, June 4 is nigh upon us, and that means it is time for the western-aligned media to crank out their discredited myth of a massacre having taken place in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The photos of the Tank Man allegedly blocking tanks from entering Tiananmen Square will form a major part of the disinformation. The fact is that the tanks were leaving the city, and it was the day after the mythologized massacre. The tanks did all they could to avoid colliding with the citizen who placed himself in front of the tanks. (Read Jeff Brown’s  setting the record straight regarding the western monopoly media account of the Tank Man.)

Alas, the monopoly media disinformation storm is already upon us.

Human Rights Watch, funded by the anti-communist Georg Soros, published an article about a “bloody crackdown” that demands: “The Chinese government should acknowledge responsibility for the mass killing of pro-democracy demonstrators and provide redress for victims and family members.”

The United States government-funded Radio Free Asia historizes, “Troops aligned with hardliners shot their way to Tiananmen Square to commit one of the worst massacres in modern Chinese history.” RFA was originally operated by the CIA to broadcast anti-Communist propaganda.

The CBC quotes “Tiananmen Square survivor” Yang Jianli, now a resident in Washington, DC, who “was at Tiananmen Square in 1989” and spoke of how a “nationwide pro-democracy movement in 1989 ended in the bloodshed of Tiananmen Square massacre.”

Yahoo!News headlines with “Tiananmen Square Fast Facts,” such as:

In 1989, after several weeks of demonstrations, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square on June 4 and fired on civilians.

Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to thousands.

One wonders which is the fact: several hundred or thousands? Assertions are a staple in western monopoly media, evidence is scant, but the evidence-free assertions persist year-after-year.

There are complaints of Chinese censorship. This raises the question of whether censorship can be justified and if so under what circumstances. Arguably, there is something more insidious than censorship, and that is disinformation. Professor Anthony Hall articulated the insidiousness of disinformation at the Halifax Symposium on Media and Disinformation in 2004 where it was held to be a crime against humanity and a crime against peace:

Disinformation originates in the deliberate and systemic effort to break down social cohesion and to deprive humanity of perceptive consciousness of our conditions. Disinformation seeks to isolate and divide human beings; to alienate us from our ability to use our senses, our intellect, and our communicative powers in order to identify truth and act on this knowledge. Disinformation is deeply implicated in the history of imperialism, Eurocentric racism, American Manifest Destiny, Nazi propaganda, the psychological warfare of the Cold War, and capitalist globalization. Disinformation seeks to erode and destroy the basis of individual and collective memory, the basis of those inheritances from history which give humanity our richness of diverse languages, cultures, nationalities, peoplehoods, and means of self-determination. The reach and intensity of disinformation tends to increase with the concentration of ownership and control of the media of mass communications.

In other words, people must not have a right to freely speak lies that reach the level of crimes against humanity or peace. The disinformation campaign about a Tiananmen Square massacre demonizes China and constitutes a crime against the humanity of the Chinese people. If people wish to allege a massacre by state forces against its citizens, then present the incontrovertible evidence. Where are the photos of soldiers killing citizens? There are plenty of photos of murdered soldiers mutilated by nasty elements outside Tiananmen Square.

So why does the disinformation persist? Because it works when people unquestioningly accept what their unscrupulous government and media tell them: China is Communist. China is bad.

Is such rhetoric compelling?

American expat Godfree Roberts, author of Why China Leads the World: Talent at the Top, Data in the Middle, Democracy at the Bottom answered a Quora question: “There are people that claim nothing bad happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989 What happened to the pro democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square when the tanks and troops with the PLA showed up to suddenly put and end to the protests?” Roberts replied:

The tanks and troops with the PLA did not show up to suddenly put and end to the protests. Nor did they harm anyone in Tiananmen Square.

They waited at the railway station for three weeks but began moving into town when rioters–like those we see in Hong Kong today–began killing people in Chang’An Avenue. Even then, the first battalions were unarmed… [emphasis in original]

Roberts wrote another excellent Quora piece preserved at the Greanville Post.

Regarding the wider myth created of a massacre at Tiananmen Square, the go-to evidence-based account is the book Tiananmen Square “Massacre”?: The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence by Wei Ling Chua.

Kim Petersen: In 2014, I reviewed your important book Tiananmen Square “Massacre”?: The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence that threw a glaring light on what the monopoly media were saying about a massacre in Tiananmen Square versus the subsequent recantations by western-aligned journalists and the narratives of protestors and witnesses than were contrary to the western media disinformation. In other words, there was no massacre in Tiananmen Square. Nonetheless, people living in the western-aligned world can expect, for the most part, to be inundated with monopoly media rehashing their disinformation about what happened on 4 June 1989, omitting the nefarious roles played by the CIA and NED.

Recently, AB Abrams included a 29-page chapter, “Beijing 1989 and Tiananmen Square,” in his excellent book Atrocity Fabrications and Its Consequences (2023). It basically lays out what you did in your book (without citing it), but it does present more of a historical basis for the interference of US militarism in 20th century China because of American anti-communist prejudice. Thus, the US supported the Guomindang (KMT) led by the brutal Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek). Abrams reads quite critical of paramount leader Deng Xiaopeng, quoting one student who complained of the increasing corruption under Deng that was not tolerated under chairman Mao Zedong. (p 125) Basically, however, Abrams buttresses what you had already written, pointing a stern finger at Operation Yellowbird’s NED, CIA, and Hong Kong criminal triads who inserted (and extracted) unruly (even bloodthirsty, notably Chai Ling) elements into Tiananmen Square who happened to find themselves well armed and supplied with Molotov cocktails, and who were not hesitant about using lethal force against remarkably restrained PLA soldiers.

Despite the several recantations by western journalists in Beijing who had reported a massacre and despite the narratives that seriously impugn the monopoly media narratives, why does the myth of a massacre in Tiananmen Square persist? How is it that this fabricated atrocity gets dredged up annually, and why do so many people buy into the disinformation proffered by a source serially revealed to be manufacturing demonstrably false narratives? How can this disinformation be exterminated?

Finally, massacres should not be forgotten, but if the narratives of massacres are meant to be revisited annually, then shouldn’t the massacres carried out — especially by one’s own side — also be memorialized, as an act of penance and atonement? In the US case, there would be yearly memorials to the massacres of several Indigenous peoples by the White natives of Europe. There are several massacres requiring atonement for the rampant criminality of the White Man. Wounded Knee, the Bear Creek massacre, the Sand Creek massacre, and the Trail of Tears spring readily to mind. There is the Kwangju massacre in South Korea, My Lai in Viet Nam, Fallujah in Iraq (and this is just skimming the surface). What does it say that the US-aligned media unquestioningly reports on fabricated atrocities elsewhere while being insouciant to the crimes of American troops against Others?

Wei Ling Chua: Since publishing the book Tiananmen Square “Massacre”? The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence (The Art of Media Disinformation is Hurting the World and Humanity vol. 2) in 2014, I began to use Google alerts to receive daily emails on any news or articles posted on the net with the term “Tiananmen Square Massacre”, and it is depressing to say that the Western media disregards their own journalists’ confessions and have continued to unrelentingly use the term frequently over the past 34 years.

The following description introduces the book.

Readers will notice from the table of contents that this book comes in 4 parts:

1) Screenshot evidence of journalists who confessed that they saw no one die that day (June 4th, 1989) at Tiananmen Square, CIA declassified documents, WikiLeaks, and Human Rights Watch decided not to publish their own eye-witnesses accounts that report that support the Chinese side of the stories… ;

2) Explanation, with examples, of how the Western media used the power of words to overpower the silent evidence (their own photos and video images) that actually shows highly restrained, people-loving PLA soldiers and the CCP government handling of the 7 weeks of protests.

3) Explanation of the 3 stage bottle-necks effect of the market economy and how Western nations respond to each stage of such economic hardship created by an uncontrolled market economy. The purpose of such analysis is to remind developing nations’ citizens not to destroy their own countries by allowing Western-funded NGOs to carry out covert operations in their countries to create chaos at times of economic hardship;

4) Comparing how the CCP handled the 1989 protesters with the US government handling of the 2011 anti-Wall Street protesters [Occupy Wall Street], the book draws a 6-point conclusion to explain why the Wall Street protesters should admire the Tiananmen protesters, and why the PLA deserves a Nobel Peace prize:

  • Freedom of protesters
  • The rule of law
  • The barricade strategy
  • Brutality of authorities
  • Media freedom
  • Government response

I encourage readers to read the book review by you: Massacre? What Massacre?

The US and other Western governments are notorious in promoting hatred, fake news, and misleading information about China. As a result, whenever foreigners went to China for the first time, they seemed to be shocked by how advanced, how wealthy, how safe, how green, how friendly, and how beautiful China is. A lot of YouTubers from all over the world voluntarily and passionately produce videos to share their daily impression of China or to defend China against any smear campaigns by the Western media. Below is just a quick pick of a dozen YouTubers:

As for getting at the truth, the best way to understand a country is to travel there and see it with our own eyes:

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a group of American athletes arrived at the Beijing International Airport with masks and later were shocked that the air quality was good and that they were the only ones wearing masks in Beijing. They were also shocked by how beautiful and modern Beijing is compared to American cities. In an embarrassment to America, these young Americans were spot on and held a press conference to publicly apologize to the Chinese people for their mask-wearing insult to China.

The same thing happened to many Taiwanese, many were so ignorant about China that they thought that the Chinese people were very poor. In 2011, a Taiwanese professor Gao Zhibin told his audience in a TV show that the mainland Chinese are so poor that they cannot even afford to eat a tea leaf egg. That video became a laughing stock and quickly circulated being viewed by hundreds of millions of Chinese people, and even made its way to the Chinese mainstream media across the country as a sort of entertainment. Now, the Taiwanese Professor has a nickname in China: “tea leaf egg professor“.

Hong Kong also has the same problem. So, after putting down the US-backed violent protests a few years ago, one of the education programs is to take the students for a free trip to the mainland to see by themselves how prosperous, green, clean, modern, friendly, and advanced their mother country is.

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at Read other articles by Kim.