#AceNewsServices – BEIJING – June 04 – China is marking 25 years since the suppression of pro-democracy protests on Wednesday under a cloak of security, Reuters reported.
Soldiers, police and security personnel enveloped Tiananmen Square, which was closed to foreign media.
The 1989 ‘counter-revolutionary’ demonstrations on Tiananmen Square, which spread to other cities, have never been publicly marked in mainland China.
Several governments including the United States urged China to account for what happened on June 4, 1989, comments that riled China, which has said the protest movement was “counter-revolutionary”. Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama used the anniversary to call on China to embrace democracy.
China has never released a death toll for the crackdown, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
Troops shot their way into central Beijing after demonstrators had clogged Tiananmen Square in Beijing for about six weeks.
There were also protests in many other cities.
Taking no chances on Wednesday, police, soldiers and plain-clothes security personnel enveloped Tiananmen Square, checking identity cards and rummaging through bags looking for any hint that people might try to sneak onto the square to commemorate the day.
Police escorted a Reuters reporter off the square, which was thronged with tourists, saying it was closed to foreign media. Police also detained another Reuters journalist for trying to report on the anniversary in one of Beijing’s university districts, releasing him after a few hours.
Public discussion of the crackdown is off-limits in China. Many young people are unaware of what happened because of years of government efforts to banish memories of the People’s Liberation Army shooting its own citizens.
“They have covered up history. They don’t want people to know the truth of what they did,” veteran activist Hu Jia told Reuters from his home in Beijing, where he said police were present to prevent him from leaving.
“Nobody would have confidence in them if they knew what they did… They should have fallen because of what they did,” he added, speaking by mobile telephone.
Reuters – BBC News – China Daily