News / Asia

    China Marks 24th Anniversary of Tiananmen Crackdown

    Visitors walk past the plain clothes policemen and paramilitary policemen as they enter Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, June 4, 2013.
    Visitors walk past the plain clothes policemen and paramilitary policemen as they enter Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, June 4, 2013.
    VOA News
    China is marking the 24th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown, amid tight security in Beijing and stifling censorship on the web.

    Authorities every year work hard to prevent memorials and ban public discussion of the brutal military suppression on June 4, 1989, which ended weeks of pro-democracy demonstrations.

    On Friday, police in Tiananmen Square and other prominent areas stood on guard for possible protests. Many activists have already been detained, placed under house arrest, or monitored closely in the lead-up to the sensitive anniversary.

    Tiananmen Square, BeijingTiananmen Square, Beijing
    x
    Tiananmen Square, Beijing
    Tiananmen Square, Beijing
    Government censors are also working hard to scrub China's social media of any mention of the incident. On the popular, Twitter-like Sina Weibo, searches for all Tiananmen-related terms were blocked. The service even removed a candle icon used by many as a digital vigil.

    Attempting to get around the restrictions, many Chinese citizens instead posted pictures of candles, or cynically referred to May 35, rather than June 4 - a search term that is also blocked. Others encouraged people to wear black as a symbol of mourning for the victims of the incident.

    In Hong Kong, more than 100,000 people are to attend a candlelight vigil to remember the crackdown. Memorials and protests are held around this time every year in the former British colony, which enjoys a greater degree of civil liberties than on the mainland.

    It has been 24 years since Chinese troops, backed by tanks, moved in to crush a student led demonstration centered in Tiananmen Square. The crackdown triggered worldwide condemnation, with estimates of those killed ranging from several hundred to several thousand people.

    China still considers the incident a "counter-revolutionary rebellion" and has never admitted any wrongdoing in its handling of the uprising. It has never disclosed an official death toll or other key details on the crackdown, which is not discussed in state media.

    Late last month, the U.S. State Department again called on Beijing to "end harassment of those who participated in the protests and fully account for those killed, detained, or missing."

    China's foreign ministry responded by saying the statement represented an interference into its internal affairs and warned the issue could "sabotage China-U.S. relations."

    Human rights are expected to be discussed later this week during a summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is visiting the western state of California.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chinese from: New york
    June 04, 2013 10:33 AM
    I am from China and witnessed the events which we call "six-four." I have to admit that as I learned more world history and expanded my horizons, I have totally changed my mind about the Tiananmen Square protests. Thirty years of 10% economic growth, 650 million people lifted out of poverty, China went from one of the world's poorest countries per capita to economic superpower set to overtake the US in absolute size in 2017. I have had to admit the Communist Party was right; those who wanted to bring it down were wrong.

    Look at the alternatives. Mikhail Gorbachev brought political reforms to the Soviet Union. The result was he destroyed the USSR forever (but China is still one country, no matter how hard the West try to split China). Russia adopted democracy. Guess what happened? Russia's economy went into free fall, its economy shrinking by half during the 1990s, and seven well-connected oligarches controlled 50% of Russia.

    I look at India, a country that has been a democracy since 1947, and they still have crushing poverty, they are economically far behind. and they are growing slower. Why? In China, when we need to build new roads, new airports, new power plants, our leaders have the power to get it done. In India, just as in America, they argue ad infinitum and get nothing done. Look at the US Congress. America is falling apart. The two parties cannot agree on anything. They fiddle while America burns. In a rich country, 50 million people without health insurance is a disgrace. Yet, when the President tries to do something for the people, look what happens.

    China may not be perfect - it is FAR from perfect (you don't need to remind me that). In the long run, AFTER China gets rich (see also the histories of Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore who were capitalist autocracies during their economic rise), maybe China's government should loosen up and allow more political freedoms. I was very pro-democracy when I was younger. I still think it is a great system when implemented in small, rich, ethnically homogeneous countries like those of Scandinavia. But I no longer believe democracy is a panacea for all, nor is it a universal value. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan (both democracies now), and see how they are doing. Democracy is a system like any other with its flaws. It does not guarantee good or bad government. At best, it is a safety valve that allows a country to change its government without violent revolution, but that is about it.
    In Response

    by: Wangchuk from: NYC
    June 06, 2013 4:38 PM
    Sounds like this person is yet another member of the 50 Cent Party paid to post pro-CCP proganda on message boards. You're entitled to your opinion but in the US you can express that opinion about the Tiananmen Massacre. Millions of Chinese in China cannot talk about or protest the 6/4 event or read about it in papers or books. There is almost complete censorship of the 6/4 protests in school books & newspapers & online. The Govt should not censor the news or the information & let the Chinese people decide how to judge what happened on 6/4/89. In the West you're free to discuss it but not in mainland China.
    In Response

    by: lovigo2 from: China
    June 05, 2013 9:48 AM
    I'm a Chinese.Let's say "No".to west democracy.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    June 05, 2013 1:28 AM
    I absolutely agree with you!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    June 04, 2013 9:34 PM
    wu mao?

    by: Shravan from: Free world
    June 04, 2013 8:58 AM
    Development is of no use if u gun down peaceful protesters. Chinese people seem to have learnt to live like slaves of the Communist party.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora