News / Asia

Tens of Thousands Stage Tiananmen Anniversary Vigil in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, June 4, 2014, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chinese military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing.
Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, June 4, 2014, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chinese military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing.
VOA News
Tens of thousands of people have turned out in Hong Kong for a vigil marking the 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

A sea of candles lit the massive Victoria Park late Wednesday, as throngs gathered to sign songs and listen to speeches marking the massacre that ended the 1989 pro-democracy movement in China.

Renz Tse, an activist taking part in the vigil, says it is crucial that Beijing know Hong Kong supports democratic freedoms and opposes violence.

"We understand the importance of fighting for the democracy of the China. As Hong Kong is a part of China and nowadays the political reforms are now opposed by the Communist Party - they are trying to elect a chief executive [of Hong Kong] that only responds to the mainland China government," said Renz.

The situation was much quieter in Beijing Wednesday and security was tight on Tiananmen Square. Hundreds of Chinese officers checked identifications and kept journalists from reporting in the square.

Beijing allows no public discussion of the 1989 massacre, in which soldiers killed hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters.
 
  • Chinese paramilitary policemen man a security checkpoint on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
  • Chinese paramilitary policemen chant slogans as they march at a barrack near Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
  • A child holds up a Chinese national flag as he poses for a photo in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
  • Visitors line up for a security check to enter Tiananmen Square in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
  • Chinese paramilitary policemen practice their salutes at a barrack near Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
  • A police car is seen in front of a giant portrait of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, June 4, 2014.

The White House urged China Wednesday to account for those killed, detained or missing in connection with the crackdown.  It said the United States "will always speak out in support of the basic freedoms the protesters at Tiananmen Square sought."

In response, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the United States of infringing on China's sovereignty.

"We demand the U.S. side respect China's judicial sovereignty and not make irresponsible comments on issues that are related to China's internal affairs," he said.

China's government has never given a death toll or an official statement of what happened.

The 1989 demonstrations included citizens from all walks of life who expressed frustration at rising inequality, rampant official corruption and a lack of democratic freedoms.

Shen Tong was a third year student at Beijing University when the massacre happened. He told VOA that he did not expect Chinese troops to kill civilians in 1989.

"It is one of those things that the day before you think is impossible, [but] 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," he said.

Shen Tong, 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 and to implement what he calls a "more balanced development."

View interactive timeline of crackdown on Tiananmen Square
 

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Van Vong
June 04, 2014 12:11 PM
There is no American people (not even one) gather to remember the killing of native Indian, or the Mexican in the past. And thats what made America great.


by: Terry Vaughn Burnett from: USA
June 04, 2014 12:01 PM
Now, I know America's corrupt,greedy, and hypoceitical and has real rotten history of it's done to it's natives and poor but at least we have seen some positive change but China is a real old tortuous sinister goverment. Both are far removed from a citizen centered and sensitive like France. To have killed it's people like they were ants in the street displays what they are capable of doing on a world scale.If there was ever a war ,China would destroy the world if ir had to.Yet, it contiues to grow from trade and other numerous economic avenues despite how it stands politically other countries are only interested in it's economic advantages.This is a growing monster.


by: yarrov from: usa
June 04, 2014 11:43 AM
If the Hong Kong crowd was not armed with cellphone cameras, another Tiananmen incident might occur.


by: gratefulneal from: Richmond, VA
June 04, 2014 11:22 AM
Nice to see a show of solidarity from Hong Kong - shame all of China can't "voice their opinions" - without retribution from their tyrannical government.

When are governments going to allow their citizens free and open access to them and to the press ? It's 2014 - not 1950

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid