30 Years Later, China Still as Tight-Lipped as Ever About Tiananmen Square Protests; Pompeo Urges Full Disclosure

  • 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.”

Reference Links

  • BBC: Tiananmen 30th anniversary: Thousands hold huge vigil in Hong Kong READ
  • Vox: Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Square candlelight vigil is under threat from China READ
  • Fox: China chides Mike Pompeo after he calls on them to reveal Tiananmen Square death toll READ

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