News / Asia

Tiananmen Square Memorial Opens in Hong Kong

Tiananmen Square Memorial Opens in Hong Kongi
X
Rebecca Valli
April 26, 2014 9:02 PM
A permanent museum to memorialize the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989 has officially opened, and organizers are calling on Beijing to face its troubled history. Rebecca Valli has more from Hong Kong.
VIDEO: A permanent museum to memorialize the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989 has officially opened, and organizers are calling on Beijing to face its troubled history. Rebecca Valli has more from Hong Kong.
A permanent museum to remember the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989 has officially opened in Hong Kong. Organizers say that 25 years after the events, Chinese people need to know more about what happened, and call on Beijing to face its troubled history.

The exhibition is the world's first museum dedicated to the brutal crackdown ordered by the Chinese leadership 25 years ago.

While references to the crackdown are banned on the mainland, activists and politicians in Hong Kong have long called on Beijing to offer a full account of what happened on June 4th, 1989.

Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, who is one of the organizers, says the media blackout has left younger generations in the dark.

“They are very confused about what happened in Tianamen. They should come here to learn more about June Fourth. We also hope they can carry that knowledge and the spirit of the students movement back to China and strive for for democracy,” he said.

The museum takes up less than 75 square meters on the fifth floor of an office building in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district.

It is organized as a maze with pictures and written accounts of the events leading up to the crackdown, when the government ordered the People's Liberation Army to shoot at protesters.

In 1989, Chen Qinghua was a representative sent by the Hong Kong Student Association to support the student movement, which had been demonstrating for months against corruption and calling for political reform.

He says that in the late evening of June third he was at a medical station near Tiananmen Square and what he saw filled him with disbelieve and anger.

“Starting from 10:30, 11 o’clock, people were brought in with gun wounds. Some of them were dead on arrival. It was so sudden that, you are never prepared for that,” said  Chen.

An official death toll has never been made public, and estimates range from hundreds to thousands of dead.

The government in China says the protests were counter-revolutionary and insists that China has moved on from that political turmoil.

The last 30 years of development, Beijing says, show that the country has reached a “clear conclusion” on those events.

Liu Ruishao, an Hong Kong journalist,  was in Beijing during the crackdown and says that economic development alone will not make China strong.

“June Fourth is a wound for all the Chinese people. If we do not absorb the lessons from what happened, the efforts for a prosperous and enlightened nation will all be useless,” said Liu.

The museum, which opened Saturday, ran into some opposition.

The building's owners committee tried to block the opening with a vote earlier this month, an effort that organizers say was due to pressure from mainland authorities.

On Saturday, pro-Beijing protesters stood outside the museum's building holding banners suggesting violence was started by the student movement.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
April 27, 2014 10:38 PM
Thank to this memorial in Hong Kong, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown won't be a forbidden topic, few dare to speak out in mainland China any longer. Chinese people should enjoy anywhere of the country fundamental universal rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the ability to practice one’s own religion.
In Response

by: tao sa from: CHINA
May 04, 2014 1:15 AM
Go home Japanese, we'll beat you some day.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More