32 Years After Tiananmen Square Incident, Criticism of the Party and Government Thoroughly Suppressed

32 Years After Tiananmen Square Incident, Criticism of the Party and Government Thoroughly Suppressed

June 4, 2021, 6:26 p.m.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210604/k10013067031000.html

On June 4, it will be 32 years since the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, China, in which a student movement calling for democracy was suppressed by force, resulting in a large number of casualties. Voices calling for a review of the incident and questioning responsibility have been silenced, and with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, criticism of the party and government has been thoroughly suppressed.

Thirty-two years ago, on June 4, 1989, during the Tiananmen Square protests, the military fired on and otherwise suppressed students and citizens who had gathered in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing to demand democracy, resulting in many casualties.

The Chinese government has not changed its position that its response at the time was correct, and it is still taboo to talk about the incident publicly under the strict control of information.

On the morning of the 4th, many tourists could be seen in Tiananmen Square, but a large number of police officers were stationed around the area, questioning people on their way to the square and inspecting their baggage.

In Hong Kong, where freedom of speech and assembly has been allowed under the “one country, two systems” system, a large memorial service organized by citizens’ groups has been held every year on this day, but the police refused to allow it to be held this year as they did last year, citing the need to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

In China, voices calling for a review of the incident and questioning responsibility have been silenced, and criticism of the party and government has been thoroughly suppressed as the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

Bereaved Families: “The Party and Government Must Apologize to the People”

The bereaved families of those who lost their family members in the Tiananmen Square massacre have formed a group called “Mothers of Tiananmen Square” and continue to demand an investigation into the truth and an apology by publishing letters addressed to the Chinese government and leaders.

This year, before the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, the group released a letter signed by 122 bereaved families and condemned the government’s response, saying, “Even after 32 years, the government still has not clarified how many people died and how many people were injured.

All information about the incident has been blocked, and many young people either don’t know or don’t believe in the tragic events that took place in Beijing.

Noting that next month will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, the group urges the party and government to face up to the incident and “expect the party and government to apologize to all the people.

Zhang Xianling, 83, one of the core members of the group who lost her then 19-year-old son, said, “Thirty-two years have passed since the incident, but the grief and pain of my family’s murder has never completely healed. I hope the government will not pretend to be ignorant, but courageously admit its shame, solve this problem, and engage in dialogue with us.

Ms. You Weijie, 67, who lost her husband, said, “We have been suppressed since the incident until now. A society that puts pressure on people for thinking or speaking differently from the government is not a good society. I hope that the government will quickly disclose the truth.

China’s Foreign Ministry: “It’s a political fuss that has long since been concluded.

Regarding the Tiananmen Square protests, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on April 4, “The Chinese government has already reached a clear conclusion about the political turmoil that occurred at the end of the 1980s,” stressing that there is no need to reevaluate the situation.

The statement is an interference in China’s internal affairs and we firmly oppose it. The U.S. should look at itself in the mirror and see its own misdeeds on human rights issues before using human rights issues to attack other countries,” he said, strongly opposing the statement.

The people of Beijing

In China, it is still taboo to talk about the Tiananmen Square massacre in public, and even when you interview citizens, most of them are reluctant to talk about it because of the government’s scrutiny.

In addition, many of the younger generation are unaware of the incident itself.

When I asked citizens in the center of Beijing on the 4th, they all said “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” and left quickly.

On the other hand, when asked about the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) next month and measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, many praised the party and the government.

A woman in her 30s said, “Compared to other countries, I think China’s measures against coronas are the best.

A man in his 20s said, “I don’t think there are many countries with a 100-year track record. I like the Chinese Communist Party even more.

Hong Kong: Police shut down park, disrupting more than 30 years of mourning

On April 4, the first day of Tiananmen Square protests in Hong Kong since the enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law, which cracks down on anti-government activities, police sealed off a park where annual memorial rallies have been held, disrupting a memorial rally that has continued for more than 30 years.

In Hong Kong, where freedom of speech and assembly has been allowed under the one country, two systems system, citizens’ groups have held annual rallies in a park in central Hong Kong on June 4, the day of the incident, to mourn the victims and demand an investigation into the truth.

However, following last year’s event, the police refused to allow it to be held again this year, citing the need to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. In a press conference held on the afternoon of April 4, the police announced that they would seal off the park for the time being, saying that “there are citizens who are trying to hold the rally illegally. In addition, the police warned the citizens that they would be dealt with severely if they entered the park, deeming it an illegal act.

Signs and iron fences were set up around the entrance of the park to warn people that it was off-limits, and police officers could be seen patrolling the empty park. The rally was not allowed last year either, but about 20,000 people, including members of the group and citizens, voluntarily gathered at the park to raise their voices. This year, however, the group is urging citizens not to come to the park, as they may be charged with violating the law, and the memorial rally that has been held in Hong Kong for more than 30 years will cease.

U.S. Secretary of State: “We will continue to seek the truth.

U.S. Secretary of State James Blinken released a statement on the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

In the statement, Secretary Blinken said, “The people of China responded with violence when all they asked for was respect for human rights, and the people who stood shoulder to shoulder on June 4 were brave. That is why we must never stop demanding full disclosure of what happened on that day, including those who were killed, those who were detained, and those who are missing,” he said.

Secretary Blinken also pointed out that the authorities had refused to allow a memorial service to be held in Hong Kong, saying that “the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square is linked to Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy and freedom.

The U.S. will continue to support the Chinese people as they demand that the Chinese government respect universal human rights, and we salute the people who were murdered 32 years ago and the brave activists who continue to fight against the oppression of the Chinese government.

This is the first time that the Biden administration has issued a statement on the Tiananmen Square protests, and like previous administrations, the statement was harsh in its condemnation of China.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato: “We still regard the incident with deep regret.

At a press conference after the cabinet meeting, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato said, “As indicated in the Chief Cabinet Secretary’s statement issued immediately after the incident, the Japanese government still accepts with deep regret the tragic situation that resulted in the loss of many lives as a result of clashes involving the use of military force.

I believe that freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, and the rule of law are universal values in the international community, and it is important that they be guaranteed in China as well, and I have consistently conveyed this message directly to the Chinese government. We have also expressed our concerns about the human rights situation in China, and we will continue to work closely with the international community and strongly encourage the Chinese side to do the same.

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