The Chinese army swung into position around Tiananmen Square yesterday to guard against commemoration of the day in 1989 when nothing much happened – just some troops moving with ruthless efficiency to do hardly anything at all, really.
‘Twenty years ago today was a day just like any other,’ said the Chinese Foreign Minister. ‘We’re marking the occasion with a massive display of force, but I wouldn’t read anything into that.’
Many people who were in the area in 1989 were expected to observe the anniversary by staying at home and doing nothing special, much as they did 20 years ago. They were not joined by several hundred others who were around at the time but are now presumed to be ‘on holiday or something’.