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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs