China Celebrates 25th Anniversary of PLA Victory over Counter-Revolutionary Students
BEIJING — Spirits are high in Beijing as the city celebrates the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Day, a holiday commemorating the miraculous victory of the People’s Liberation Army over a student-led coalition of counter-revolutionaries threatening to destroy the country.
The story behind Tiananmen Day is familiar to all Chinese, immortalized in songs and bedtime stories.
“Every child is taught about the thousands of brave soldiers who prevailed, against impossible odds, over hundreds of thousands of demonstrators armed with bricks and glass bottles and led by the Grand Betrayer, Zhao Ziyang,” explained Guo Deqing, a Chinese history professor at Renmin University.
“With nothing but semi-automatic rifles and armored personnel carriers, they liberated Tiananmen Square and saved this country from the clutches of bourgeois liberalization.”
Speaking atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace, President Xi Jinping delivered a short but moving speech eulogizing the soldiers who gave their lives 25 years ago.
“We must never forget the sacrifice those soldiers made to protect this country,” he said to the massive crowd. “Without them, I might not be standing here today.”
As with every year, the Tiananmen Day Parade (pictured above) will take place along Chang’an Avenue. But this year, as a special remembrance, some of the original tanks which crushed protesters indiscriminately have been refurbished and will appear in the procession.
At dusk, Tiananmen Square will be the scene of a dramatic reenactment of the evening of June 3.
The soldiers in the 38th Army will play themselves, firing upon protesters as they approach from the west, while thousands of ordinary Chinese volunteers will portray the reactionary students, anarchic workers and their “black hand” puppet masters, mercifully cleansed at the hands of the PLA.
To ensure public safety, soldiers will use rubber bullets instead of live ammunition; to compensate for the lack of realism, each protester will be given 2 liters of fake blood to spill when they are “shot.”
“I’m so excited to be a part of this,” said one junior PLA officer. “I was too young to be a part of 1989 but today is my chance to live that experience.”
The reenactment will continue until the afternoon of June 5, culminating in the infamous Tank Man standoff where one lucky individual picked to depict Tank Man will be slowly flattened by a Type 59 tank.