Hong Kong marks 28 years since Tiananmen crackdown

2017-06-04 17:46
Tens of thousands of people attend the annual candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square military crackdown. (Kin Cheung, AP)

Tens of thousands of people attend the annual candlelight vigil at Hong Kong's Victoria Park to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square military crackdown. (Kin Cheung, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hong Kong - Thousands of Hong Kong residents attended a candlelight vigil on Sunday for victims of the Chinese government's 1989 brutal military crackdown on protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, while Taiwan's president called on Beijing to face up to the history.

Hundreds if not thousands of unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed late on June 3 and the early hours of June 4 1989, after China's communist leaders ordered the military to retake Tiananmen Square from the student-led demonstrators. Commemoration of the events, whether public or private, remains taboo in mainland China.

Open mind

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in posts on Facebook and Twitter that 28 years ago, the actions of students and citizens who challenged the political system in China "inspired a generation".

She appealed to Beijing to "face up to June 4 with an open mind" and said Taiwan was willing to share its experiences of transitioning to democracy in the late 1980s to ease the pains of such a transition in the mainland.

"For democracy: some are early, others are late, but we will all get there in the end," she wrote on Twitter.

While mainland Chinese are only dimly aware of what happened at Tiananmen Square nearly three decades ago, the subject is openly discussed in the self-governing island of Taiwan and in Hong Kong, a special Chinese region with much autonomy and legally entrenched freedom of speech and other civil rights unseen on the mainland.

The annual evening vigil in Hong Kong, which regularly draws tens of thousands, is the only large-scale commemoration on Chinese territory of the Tiananmen bloodshed.

Cut off contact

Relations between Beijing and Taiwan have been near an all-time low since Tsai, whose Democratic Progressive Party has advocated for Taiwan's formal independence, took over as president a year ago. Since then, Beijing has cut off contacts with Taiwan's government and discouraged mainlanders from visiting the island as tourists.

The authoritarian Communist Party rulers in Beijing insist that Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are part of a single Chinese nation and have vowed to take control of the island by force if necessary.


Read more on:    tiananmen square  |  tsai ing-wen  |  hong kong

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.