News / Asia

World Pushes China on Human Rights on Tiananmen Anniversary

Visitors queue for a security check to enter Tiananmen Square in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
Visitors queue for a security check to enter Tiananmen Square in Beijing, June 4, 2014.
VOA News
World leaders are using the 25th anniversary of China's deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown to urge Beijing to make progress on human rights.

In a firm statement Wednesday, the White House said it "continues to honor the memories" of those killed and "will always speak out in support of the basic freedoms the protesters at Tiananmen Square sought."

The statement applauded China's "extraordinary social and economic progress" and said the U.S. values good relations with Beijing, but stressed Washington will continue to raise the issue of "universal human rights and fundamental freedoms."

The White House also urged China to account for those killed, detained or missing in connection with the events of June 4, 1989. That echoed an appeal made Tuesday by United Nations human rights Chief Navi Pillay.

Memorials and Protests for the Tiananmen Anniversary
 
  • A woman closes her eyes as she joins tens of thousands of people attending a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 4, 2014.
  • A protester wears a T-shirt with a tank during a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, June 4, 2014.
  • A protester holds a model of a tank covered with red paint to represent blood during a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 4, 2014.
  • A protester holds a banner with others and shouts slogans in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, June 4, 2014.
  • A demonstrator shows a letter of protest before dropping it into the mailbox of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, June 4, 2014.
  • A shopper in Hong Kong stands in front of a model tank made by university students to remember the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 3, 2014.
  • A woman looks at photos at a memorial in Washington for the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 3, 2014. (Zhi Yuan/VOA)
  • Speakers address the crowd at a memorial in Washington for the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, June 3, 2014. (Zhi Yuan/VOA)

Many of China's neighbors also expressed solidarity with the goals of the protesters and extended sympathy to the victims.

In Japan, which is involved in a heated territorial dispute with China, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he hopes Beijing will show "positive development" in advancing freedom, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Tens of thousands are expected to show up for candlelit vigils to remember the victims Wednesday in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou urged China to redress historical wrongs "to ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again."

The Dalai Lama said he offered prayers for "those who died for freedom, democracy and human rights," which he called the "foundation for a free society" and the "source of true peace and stability."

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader noted "great progress has been made to integrate China into the world economy," but said Beijing should also "enter the mainstream of global democracy" to help gain the trust and respect of the rest of the world.

 
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NY
June 05, 2014 10:43 AM
The Chinese Communist Party is trying to erase history and keep the Chinese people ignorant of the truth about the Tiananmen Massacre. But in the end they will fail. You can bury the truth but it will always rise like phoenix. One day the Chinese people will be free from the CCP and then the atrocities of the CCP will be exposed to the whole world.

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