11/09/2009, 00.00
CHINA – EUROPE
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No celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall in Beijing

by Wang Zhicheng
Chinese media maintain a veil of silence over the anniversary. Only one newspaper with a foreign readership mentions celebrations over German reunification without me a word about the fall of Communism. For Chinese leaders, John Paul II was one of the agents behind the fall of Wall and Communism in Eastern Europe.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – As Europe and the world celebrate the fall of Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, in mainland China the anniversary has gone unreported. Prominent international public figures are in Berlin today to celebrate the start of a peaceful revolution that would see East Germany disappear, and by domino effect, bring about the end of Eastern Europe’s Communist regimes. However, no prominent Chinese will be there.

The main news item carried by Chinese newspapers and the Xinhua news agency today was the pledge made by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to provide hungry Africa US$ 10 billion worth in aid. The second most important story related the meeting between President Hu Jintao and top air force brass.

In the last two days, Xinhua has only published photos of the Berlin celebrations, without any commentary.

 The only article that does mention the Wall refers to the call by the government of French President Sarkozy to bring down the barrier that divides the island of Cyprus between Greeks and Turks.  

The China Daily, an English-language paper for foreigners, did publish an article about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall in relation to celebrations over German reunification but did not cite the word Communism.

The fall of the Berlin Wall came a few months after the Tiananmen Square massacre (4 June 1989).

In China, where martial law was in place and the student and workers movements disbanded, news about the fall of the Wall led the authorities to tighten the screws on associations, free trade unions and the Catholic Church.

In its appraisal of events, the Chinese Communist Party saw John Paul II as an agent for the fall of the Wall.

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