A conference in Taiwan has been told that China’s communist government is increasingly using so-called ‘sharp power’ to stymie international scrutiny of its poor human rights record, including the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989.
At the same time, the Beijing regime has been tightening controls on its own people, warned academics, student leaders and rights’ campaigners.
The term ‘sharp power’ was coined in December 2017 in a report of the United States non-profit National Endowment for Democracy to describe censor-ship and other tactics used to weaken independent institutions.
Wikipedia defines sharp power as the use of manipulative diplomatic policies by one country to influence and under-mine the political system of a target nation.
The May 18-20 conference in Taiwan marking the 30th anniversary of the June 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre was organized by the Hong Kong-based New School for Democracy and the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.
More than 50 scholars, student leaders and witnesses of the Tiananmen Square protest, as well as representatives of overseas support groups and Hong Kong democratic parties, were present as speakers and discussants.