Hundreds of people were killed on June 4, 1989, as People’s Liberation Army troops cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Events will be held and speeches made to commemorate the massacre and those who died in cities around the world.
In central Taipei, capital of self-ruled Taiwan, a massive inflatable version of the iconic “Tank Man,” who defied the military as they entered Tiananmen Square, has been on display for several weeks.
On Monday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council called on Beijing to “face up to historical mistakes and apologize as soon as possible for the crackdown.”
“In the past 30 years, Beijing lacked the courage to calmly reflect on the historical significance of the June 4th Incident,” the council’s statement said. “Rather, they blocked the information and distorted the truth about it and tried to conceal the crime.”
Activists will hold a rally in Washington on Tuesday, with representatives of dozens of human rights groups, including Amnesty International, expected to attend, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Monday that the massacre still stirred the conscience “of freedom-loving people around the world.”
“We salute the heroes of the Chinese people who bravely stood up 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square to demand their rights,” he said, urging the Chinese government to make a “full, public accounting” of the incident.
The biggest event will take place in Hong Kong, the only place on Chinese soil where mass commemorations are held. A candlelit vigil has been held in Victoria Park every year since 1990, with hundreds of thousands attending during key anniversaries.
But across the border, the Chinese authorities will be watching attentively for any attempts to remember the massacre.
Tourists were visiting Tiananmen Square as usual on Tuesday, under the close watch of police and subject to frequent security checks.
On Monday, Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times said the massacre had been a “vaccination” against future “political turmoil” in the country, trumpeting China’s economic progress in the decades since.
It wasn’t the first Chinese comment on the anniversary. Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said crushing the protests had been the “correct policy.”