The United States on Wednesday (June 2) condemned Hong Kong authorities for trying to erase the memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre and suppress dissent as the anniversary of June 4 approaches.
The Biden administration described the June 4, 1989, violent crackdown by the Chinese government on peaceful demonstrations in and around Tiananmen Square as a “massacre.
“The United States condemns the actions of the Hong Kong authorities that have caused the organizers of the June 4 commemoration to close the June 4 Memorial Hall, which commemorates the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said in a telephone press conference Wednesday.
Porter added, “Hong Kong and Beijing authorities also continue to suppress dissent by attempting to erase this horrific massacre from history.”
The strongly worded statement from the U.S. State Department came on the eve of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organizes the June 4 memorial, saying it would be temporarily closed as Hong Kong authorities launch a licensing investigation into the memorial for public exhibitions.
A few days before the 32nd anniversary of June 4, the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said the memorial hall had not yet been granted a license for a place of public entertainment and was suspected of violating regulations by holding the exhibition.
The Alliance said in a statement that they need to seek further legal advice and, to protect the safety of staff and visitors, decided to temporarily close the memorial hall until further notice.