Xiao Yiwu’s books are a depressing read. It’s interesting to note that even though he was never a protester on Tiananmen Square in 1989, he was punished repeated by years of imprisonment simply for following up on the democracy movement in China post Tiananmen.
Xiao gives us a totally different perspective on Tiananmen than that presented by the Western media which focused on the “stars” and “heroes” of the day. Xiao revealed that the real heroes were unsung. He was arrested simply for reciting poetry supporting the protesters at the factory where he worked.
After his release from prison, the thing that really broke his heart was the realisation that the democracy movement was practically dead and some of the most idealistic activists he had known had moved on to operate karaoke bars and sell knockoff products. Xiao had refused to give up his struggle and his principles until he finally decided that he had to leave China.
Interestingly, Xiao’s book on the Wuhan lockdown faced numerous obstacles to publication in the West. Many supporters of the CCP see any negative coverage of China from the West as “Western propaganda”.
They should know that what they shallowly and narrowly define as “Western media” is actually multi-faceted. Some of it even have a strong leftist slant. A huge chunk of it is even pro-CCP. With the commercial interests of some Western companies at stake, the freedom of speech and information in what we perceive to be the free world can be held hostage by China’s communist dictatorship.
If the “West” in its totality were single-minded about destroying China, China would not have survived till this day.