On the 32nd anniversary of June 4, the United States paid tribute to the victims of the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and those who are still fighting bravely, and called on Beijing authorities to bring “transparency” to the Tiananmen Square incident.
Secretary of State John Blinken said in a statement Thursday (June 3) that “the United States will continue to stand with the Chinese people and call on the Chinese government to respect universal human rights,” saying, “We salute the victims of 32 years ago and the courageous activists who continue to fight today in the face of the ongoing crackdown by the Beijing government. We salute the activists who died 32 years ago and the courageous activists who continue to work today despite the ongoing crackdown by the Beijing government.”
The Secretary of State also called on China to be “transparent” about the Tiananmen Square incident, including providing a full accounting of all those killed, arrested or missing. The death toll from the Tiananmen crackdown has been reported to be in the hundreds or even thousands.
The State Department issues a statement each year on the anniversary of June 4, and this year Blinken also noted in his statement that he saw “echoes of the history of the Tiananmen protests” in “Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy and freedom,” and that for more than three decades, Hong Kong and Macau were the only places in China where June 4 commemorations could be held. For more than three decades, Hong Kong and Macau were the only places in China where June 4 commemorations could be held, but the annual vigil at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park has been banned by authorities. This is the second year in a row that Hong Kong police have banned the annual vigil on epidemic prevention grounds.
Hong Kong’s Security Bureau has warned that anyone who violates the ban on vigil commemorations will be punished under national security laws.
Blinken’s statement reportedly comes hours after President Joe Biden expanded his blacklist of Chinese companies. Biden signed an executive order Thursday listing a total of 59 entities, including Huawei, China Aerospace Science and Technology, China Mobile Communications and CNOOC Group, as Chinese military-related companies that are prohibited from American investment, a list expanded by 11 more than the executive order Trump had signed last November.