China’s political situation has reached a stalemate. The authorities are fully aware of the public’s dissatisfaction and hopes for democratization, but they are hopelessly entangled and paralyzed by the old system and groups that have a vested interest in its continued existence. The only possible way of breaking this stalemate is to further strengthen civil society and move as quickly as possible toward concentrating, mobilizing and integrating popular pressure groups. A movement built from the bottom up, such as through street protest movements, would put the authorities under massive pressure to make historic concessions and such concessions would, in turn, activate popular forces. The starting point for such a process must be a resolution of the June 4 issue. That is what is meant by “reversing the June 4 verdict.”
We are now 23 years on from June 4, 1989, but nobody can be sure when the verdict on those events will be overturned. However, anyone who has researched history and drawn lessons from it must be aware that a ruling clique as corrupt as the CCP is bound to crack sooner or later. When and how this will happen, we do not and cannot know, but that day will surely come.
Wang Dan is a visiting associate professor at National Tsing Hua University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Translated by Julian Clegg