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World marks 30th anniversary of Tiananmen massacre

Image credit: Vienman.com 

Hong Kong: Commemorations marking the 30th anniversary of the massacre of unarmed citizens by soldiers in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 took place worldwide on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people were killed on June 4, 1989, as People’s Liberation Army troops cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square who for weeks had gathered in the heart of the Chinese capital to call for greater democracy as well as political and social reforms, CNN reported. 

The biggest event will take place in Hong Kong, the only place on Chinese soil where mass commemorations are held. 

A candle-lit vigil has been held in Victoria Park every year since 1990, with hundreds of thousands attending during key anniversaries.

In Taipei, a massive inflatable version of the iconic “Tank Man”, who defied the military as they entered Tiananmen Square, has been on display for several weeks.

On Monday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council called on Beijing to “face up to historical mistakes and apologize as soon as possible for the crackdown”.

Activists will hold a rally in Washington on Tuesday, with representatives of dozens of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, expected to attend, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday that the massacre still stirred the conscience “of freedom-loving people around the world”.

“We salute the heroes of the Chinese people who bravely stood up 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square to demand their rights,” he said, urging the Chinese government to make a “full, public accounting” of the incident.

Tiananmen commemorations do not take place any where in China, CNN reported. 

The events of June 4 have been wiped from the history books in China and any discussion of the crackdown is strictly censored and controlled

On Monday, Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times said the massacre had been a “vaccination” against future “political turmoil” in the country.

China has always defended the crackdown. Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe described the Tiananmen protests as “political turmoil that the central government needed to quell”.

PTI

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