News / Asia

China Rejects US Call to Release Tiananmen Prisoners

Candlelight vigil commemorates pro-democracy activists who died in Beijing's Tiananmen Square uprising, Victoria Park, Hong Kong, June 4, 2012.Candlelight vigil commemorates pro-democracy activists who died in Beijing's Tiananmen Square uprising, Victoria Park, Hong Kong, June 4, 2012.
x
Candlelight vigil commemorates pro-democracy activists who died in Beijing's Tiananmen Square uprising, Victoria Park, Hong Kong, June 4, 2012.
Candlelight vigil commemorates pro-democracy activists who died in Beijing's Tiananmen Square uprising, Victoria Park, Hong Kong, June 4, 2012.
VOA News
Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong have marked the 23rd anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square protests and the deadly government crackdown that followed.

Demonstrators held a candlelight vigil Monday, shouting "long live democracy" and "never forget June 4."

Hundreds of demonstrators also gathered in Taiwan's capital, Taipei.

The demonstrations in Hong Kong and Taiwan stood in contrast to mainland China where the anniversary has never been publicly marked. Instead, China's Internet censors blocked searches about the anniversary. They also blocked the term "Shanghai stock market" after the index fell 64.89 points and Chinese microblogs buzzed with conspiracy theories. In an apparent coincidence, the stock index numbers match calendar numbers for the June 4, 1989 crackdown.

Earlier Monday, China's foreign ministry expressed "strong dissatisfaction" with a U.S. call for Beijing to free all those still imprisoned for the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations.

Responding to a question from the VOA Mandarin service, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters that the U.S. State Department call was a gross intervention in China's internal affairs and a groundless accusation against the Chinese government.

“I knew you would ask this question for sure," said Liu. "There has been a clear conclusion by the Chinese government and party over that incident. Over the past more than 20 years, China has witnessed continuous economic development, democracy and rule of law and prosperous cultural programs. All this is reflecting the common aspiration of the Chinese people. The statement you mentioned is released by the U.S. side year after year in disrespect of facts. It is a gross intervention in China's internal affairs and groundless accusation of the Chinese government. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to that."

On June 4, 1989, Chinese troops, backed by tanks, moved in to crush a student-led demonstration centered in Beijing's 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. The topic is banned from state media and, although the subject is taboo in China, some activists have gathered to mark the anniversary.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid