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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid