(Agence France-Presse) China’s vast censorship machine does its utmost to wipe the slightest reference to the Tiananmen crackdown from books, television and the Internet, scrubbing the issue from public discussion and even from the minds of its younger generation.

In an example of George Orwell’s “1984″ dictum that “who controls the present controls the past”, it reflects both the ruling Communist Party’s immense power and its enduring sensitivity about its actions on June 3-4, 1989.

The overnight clearing of the square at the heart of Beijing, where student-led protesters had demanded reforms for seven weeks, left hundreds dead — by some estimates more than 1,000 — and the party isolated from its people and the world.

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