- In Hong Kong, tens of thousands gathered to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square protests that resulted in an unknown number of people dead as pro-democracy protesters were attacked by military forces.
- In April 1989, Tiananmen Square was taken over by pro-democracy protesters, which led to six weeks of demonstrations, the longest in China’s history.
- On June 3, military forces moved in with tanks and fired on protesters, who were mostly students. Authorities later claimed no one was killed in the square.
- Even 30 years later, China has tight control over how the Beijing incident is remembered and only allows gatherers in Hong Kong and Macau to mark the somber event.
- While the death count has been estimated at anywhere from hundreds to thousands, China has never released an official number.
- In other places in China, references to the Tiananmen Square protests are prohibited after “weeks of mass protests that were tolerated by the government.” An estimated 1 million people participated in these protests to mark the anniversary.
- On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement that honoring the 1989 protesters as “heroes of the Chinese people who bravely stood up thirty years ago in Tiananmen Square to demand their rights.”
- China criticized the statement and said that Pompeo “spoke out of prejudice and arrogance.”
- Pompeo has urged the Chinese government to release a full statement of the events at Tiananmen Square, but China said that Pompeo “grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs, attacks its system, and smears its domestic and foreign policies.”