If Only the Chinese Reformists Had Won

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                     China has become a malignant superpower. The Chinese military is building 
artificial military bases in the South China Sea, it is claiming parts of the East China Sea, it has
substantially increased its military spending, it is a threatening a war against India in a border 
dispute between Chinese-occupied Tibet and Indian and Bhutan, and we are not sure what China
will do about North Korea. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is still very much repressing dissent
in China, the Chinese Communist Party still controls all facets of the government and society, and 
the Communist Party is still doing all it can to control information on the Internet. I had hoped a long
time ago it would have been a different story. Back when I visited China in the spring of 1989, there
was so much hope among westerners and Chinese that the reformists in the Communist Party would
win and be able to negotiate with the then pro-democracy mass movement then things would be
VASTLY different in China today. Freedom of speech, religion, and the press would be guaranteed.
There would be no slave labor camps and no reason to punish people on their political or 
religious beliefs. China’s ethnic minorities would have real civil rights and autonomy. There would
have been no Tiananmen Square massacre, and chances are China could resolve its border
disputes with its neighbors with diplomatic means. Even if the Chinese Communist Party had
remained the only governing institution, it would be a vastly different force today. China would
be a far more democratic, pro-western country that would be at peace with its neighbors and
a friend and asset to the United States and South Korea in solving the world’s problems. As
history has shown, this was not to be. My book, The Day China Cried: A Witness to the June 4th
Massacre, details the China that would come out of this, and the fact that China is what it is
because the reformists in the Communist Party had failed. It is a failure that the whole world
is feeling now. Is it possible for another such reformist movement to occur in China now? I
hold out the hope for one.