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June 05, 2005

June 4, 1989 

I am a day late typing this, but I write in memory and in tribute to the greatest Chinese patriots since Sun Yat-sen and Gen Chiang Kai-shek: the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Which, according to Beijing, never happened. If there's any evidence one needed for my post below—where I say that Sweden is more significant than Red China's entry into the WTO—this is it.
   Honesty in commerce and honesty in policy go hand in hand oftentimes, more so in a command economy. Till that happens, denial of massacres, failure to give people self-determination and some rather undiplomatic diplomats will go hand in hand with piracy, bureaucracy and a capricious nature to contract law.
   I fear for one thing in this context: that the growth of Red China is as illusory, as steeped in mumbo-jumbo, as the growth of the dot coms on the Dow Jones in the 1990s, because the official figures are about as reliable as the date of Leonid Brezhnev's death.
   Leading countries allow criticism because they can sustain it, but small countries clamp down on it.
   The great irony of my words is that I agree with Beijing on one thing: a single China. However, we just don't agree on the form it should take.
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