Hong Kong remembers Tiananmen as US calls for accounting

Geraldine Edwards
June 7, 2018

China lashed out at the U.S. yesterday after Washington marked the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen protests by urging Beijing to disclose how many people were killed in the crackdown. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and a further 7,000 injured, but independent analysts have suggest that the death toll may have reached upwards of 10,000.

Hundreds - by some estimates more than a thousand - were killed.

Human rights violations in China have worsened in the 29 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre, despite that country making advances in other areas, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday in a statement to mark the anniversary.

"As Liu Xiaobo wrote in his 2010 Nobel Peace Prize speech, delivered in absentia, "the ghosts of June 4th have not yet been laid to rest".

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"We join others in the global community in urging the Chinese government to make a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing", Pompeo's statement said.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in a downtown park in Hong Kong for an annual public commemoration of the crackdown on a rainy evening.

"When we are aspiring to establishing a truly democratic China, we all think a necessary condition is an end to one-party dictatorship", Ho told the crowd.

She said the U.S. should "do things that are more helpful for the steady growth of China-U.S. ties instead of the other way around".

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"No matter how impossible it seems, we must persevere, in hope that China will one day have democracy", said a 61-year-old retiree who only gave his surname Yau.

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.

Just as in previous years, the Chinese regime dramatically beefed up security around Tiananmen Square in Beijing, with a massive number of checkpoints, police, and even stun gun-wielding robots deployed to prevent any dissident activity.

In an open letter to Xi dated "the eve of 2018 June 4th", the Tiananmen Mothers, an association of parents who lost children in the violence, said: "each year when we would commemorate our loved ones, we are all monitored, put under surveillance, or forced to travel".

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In Taiwan, the democratic and self-ruled island China claims as its own, President Tsai Ing-wen said that if China could face up to what had happened it could become the bedrock for China's own democratic transformation. Facebook is also blocked in China.

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