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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
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 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 Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
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.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid