News / Asia

    Security Crackdown Takes Place in Beijing on Tiananmen Anniversary

    Despite Government Efforts to Silence Tiananmen, Demands Lingeri
    X
    May 29, 2014 1:14 PM
    It's been 25 years since China's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. China's leadership has taken great steps to silence any discussion of the events of 1989, the massive protest rallies that took place that spring in Beijing and other cities and the bloody crackdown that followed. Even so, the demands of the students and citizens who poured out onto the streets at that time have not gone away. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Watch related video report by VOA's Bill Ide.
    VOA News
    Police filled Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of the deadly crackdown of student-led demonstrations there.
     
    Watchful Chinese security forces, both uniformed and plain-clothed, checked identifications of passersby and kept journalists from reporting in the square.
     
    China has never given a full account of the June 3-4, 1989 incident, when soldiers killed hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters.
     
    Beijing allows no public discussion on the massacre and has gone to impressive lengths to erase the nation's collective memory of the incident.
     
    The White House on Wednesday urged China to account for those killed, detained, or missing in connection with the crackdown.
     
    The statement said the United States "will always speak out in support of the basic freedoms the protesters at Tiananmen Square sought."
     
    Washington has also demanded Beijing free the dozens of government critics detained or placed under house arrest ahead of the anniversary.
     
    A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry defended the detentions Tuesday, saying China was only punishing "law breakers," and not "dissidents."
     
    The Foreign Ministry also defended the 1989 crackdown, saying China has "long ago" reached a conclusion about the incident. It instead focused on China's rapid economic development since then.
     
    Shen Tong was a third year student at Beijing University when the massacre happened. He told VOA that at the time, he did not expect Chinese troops to kill civilians.
     
    "It's one of those things that the day before you think is impossible, the day after it becomes inevitable. So in some larger sense, I would say nobody predicted that. But then when the moment actually was upon us, all the factors before that seemed to lead to that inevitable outcome," said Shen.
     
    Shen, who was forced to leave China for his safety following the crackdown, said the incident represents a missed opportunity for the Communist Party to be more open to the will of the people.
     
    "China could have gone onto a more balanced development instead of embracing this unbalanced, full embrace of materialism, which now eventually led to the breakdown of moral and social fabrics in China," said Shen.

    The 1989 demonstrations included Chinese citizens from all walks of life, including some members of the Communist Party. Many were expressing frustration at a lack of freedom of speech, rising inequality, and rampant official corruption.

    Although discussions on the Beijing massacre are taboo in mainland China, tens of thousands are expected to turn out late Wednesday for a candlelit vigil in the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong.

    Memorials and Protests for the Tiananmen Anniversary
     
    • A woman closes her eyes as she joins tens of thousands of people attending a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
    • Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
    • Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
    • Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
    • A protester wears a T-shirt with a tank during a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, June 4, 2014.
    • A protester holds a model of a tank covered with red paint to represent blood during a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 4, 2014.
    • A protester holds a banner with others and shouts slogans in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, June 4, 2014.
    • A demonstrator shows a letter of protest before dropping it into the mailbox of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, June 4, 2014.
    • A shopper in Hong Kong stands in front of a model tank made by university students to remember the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 3, 2014.
    • A woman looks at photos at a memorial in Washington for the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 3, 2014. (Zhi Yuan/VOA)
    • Speakers address the crowd at a memorial in Washington for the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 3, 2014. (Zhi Yuan/VOA)

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.