View Full Version : China Marks 20th Anniversary of Tiananamen

06-04-2009, 05:12 AM
Click this BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8082328.stm) link to watch the video report of how tight security is in Beijing tonight. Today (June 4) is the 20th anniversary of that incident... As freedom-loving people, I hope we all remember those brave people today.





Security and calls for examination mark Tiananmen anniversary

By NEWS WIRES (text) / SARAH DRURY (video)
France24 (http://www.france24.com/en/20090604-china-security-tiananmen-anniversary-protest-clinton)

AFP - China imposed a security clampdown Thursday to stop any event marking the 20th anniversary of the crushing of the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests, as it faced renewed calls to account for the bloodshed.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to rally in cities around the world to remember the military's action on June 4, 1989 against demonstrators and ordinary citizens in the heart of the Chinese capital.

But the only major commemoration on Chinese soil of the bloodshed -- in which hundreds, possibly thousands, were killed -- is to take place nearly 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) away in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.

Security was extremely tight on Tiananmen Square early Thursday, as police officers searched bags and even the pockets of Chinese tourists walking onto the giant plaza.

Foreign journalists were barred from entering, and an AFP TV journalist was ordered by police to delete footage from his camera.

Chinese tourists near the square were reluctant to discuss the events of 20 years ago.

"It's a history issue. I don't know much about history," said a 20-year-old man from the southern province of Guangdong.

China has attempted to prevent any public discussion or remembrance of the events of June 1989 by blocking access to social networking websites like Twitter, blacking out some foreign news reports and hiding away key dissidents.

But activists say the decision 20 years ago by the ruling Communists to send in troops and tanks to quell the unprecedented seven weeks of protests calling for political reform in the one-party state must be publicly reviewed.

"The Communist Party has to acknowledge the crimes that it committed," Qi Zhiyong, 53, who lost a leg in June 1989, told AFP ahead of the anniversary, before being ordered out of sight like many other vocal political dissidents.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Beijing to publish the names of those killed or missing, saying it would help China "learn and heal."

"A China that has made enormous progress economically and is emerging to take its rightful place in global leadership should examine openly the darker events of its past," she said in a statement.

The events that unfolded in Tiananmen Square -- the symbol of political power in China -- played out on television screens around the world.

But 20 years on, the government in Beijing has emerged relatively unscathed, with its authority at home intact and its global clout more powerful than ever before, thanks mainly to its ranking as the world's third-biggest economy.

The government, brushing away calls for a formal inquiry into the crackdown and a full accounting of the number of people who lost their lives, has remained adamant that its actions were justified.

"History has shown that the party and government have put China on the proper socialist path that serves the fundamental interests of the Chinese people," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said it had received at least three reports of authorities blocking reporting at Tiananmen Square and intimidating journalists or their sources.

Given the extreme taboo surrounding the topic, and the hundreds of security forces patrolling Tiananmen Square, any protest in China on Thursday is likely to be discreet.

In the Muxidi area, the scene of some of the worst blood-letting two decades ago, there had been expectations of low-key commemorations Wednesday night, but none was sighted amid heavy police presence.

Dai Qing, a prominent Beijing-based critic of the government who spent time in jail after the crackdown, said she was following a call by overseas dissidents to wear the traditional colour of mourning to mark the anniversary.

"I'm wearing white," she told AFP.

"If you think that this is the government of a powerful nation, that's too simple a view. The use of this kind of violence on June 4 may make you think this is a powerful government, but it did not bring happiness to people."

In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of mourners were expected to gather for an annual candlelight vigil. Other commemorative events were planned around the world, from the United States to Japan.

Fang Zheng, whose legs were run over and crushed by a tank during the crackdown, will be one of the speakers on Capitol Hill in Washington.

In London, Britain's best-known female journalist Kate Adie, who covered the event for the BBC, will join former Tiananmen protesters currently in exile to lay flowers of remembrance in front of the Chinese embassy.

06-04-2009, 09:33 AM
Before 9-11, that was the absolute worse thing I ever saw on live television.

Or, maybe both were equally bad in some ways, but 9-11 happened in places I'd been to before.