USA urges China to open up on Tiananmen Square crackdown

Hu Yaobang

Hu Yaobang

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement to "remember the tragic loss of innocent lives" on June 4, 1989, when the Communist Party sent tanks to quash the peaceful demonstrations around Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

The Tiananmen crackdown is a taboo subject in China and 29 years later it remains a point of contention between China and many Western countries.

Elsewhere in the world, much smaller protests were held in many major cities, such as one that took place in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington on June 2, at which dozens of Chinese activists were in attendance.

Human rights groups and witnesses estimate that those who died ranged from several hundred to several thousand. Every year, the United States releases its so-called statement [regarding the Tiananmen Square protests], repeatedly brings accusations against the Chinese government and interferes in the internal affairs of China.

In what is also known euphemistically as the June Fourth Incident, People's Liberation Army troops with tanks and automatic rifles killed student protestors en masse, after protests which had lasted more than six weeks calling for democracy and greater freedom of speech.

"The words of Liu Xiaobo at his Nobel prize acceptance speech in 2010, "the ghosts of June 4, still have not found peace", said Pompeo, referring to the Chinese dissident who died in detention past year".

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Today, 4 June 2018, marks the 29th anniversary of China's brutal squelching of student pro-democracy protests.

Chinese artist and cartoonist Badiucao, who started the hashtag #TankMan2018 to raise awareness, says Tank Man represents "something lost in China's young generation now - the idealism, passion, sense of responsibility, and confidence that an individual can make a change".

Hu Ping, another well-known Chinese dissident, said that the lack of democracy in China will eventually bring about catastrophic consequences for the United States and the world, as the Chinese Communist Party continues to increase its power while acting aggressively overseas.

The semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong is the only place on Chinese soil where the anniversary is openly marked with a famous vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 each year.

In Taiwan, the democratic and self-ruled island China claims as its own, former president Ma Ying-jeou said in a statement it was important to face up to history to help heal the families' wounds.

Meanwhile, the MAC also called on China to respect the fundamental human rights of Taiwanese in the worldwide community to promote harmonious interactions between the two sides and facilitate improved cross-strait relations.

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