20 years ago, thousands of brave men and women risked their lives and freedom to protest against the Communist Party regime.
Their demonstrations were centered on the historic Tiananmen Square in Beijing, where the iconic image of a lone man standing in front of a tank was beamed around the world. Now in an apparent act of contrition, the government has teamed up with McDonald's to commemorate the brutally crushed rebellion with a new representation of the scene.
The toy will be manufactured in China and included in Happy Meals across the globe. President Hu Jintao hopes that the move will draw a line under the 1989 suppression of demands for democratic rights that caused such controversy.
"This year is of special significance to China," he told a meeting of the Politburo this morning. "Twenty years ago, the Chinese people resolutely embarked on the historic journey of reform and opening-up, and we crapped all over that. But now a plastic toy representing 1989 made by Chinese workers will be waved about by western children for 5 minutes before being thrown in a bin.
"That comrades, is progress."
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