Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho has said the victims of the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 would be pleased by China’s development and achievements.

Ho spoke during the debate over the annual motion tabled by democrats on “never forgetting” the massacre and vindication of the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing. Last year, Ho was the only one in the pro-Beijing camp who voted “yes” to the motion, but he abstained this year.

In his speech, Ho said the number of citizens, students and soldiers who died was unknown, but even one was too many. The Chinese government has never given an official death toll for the crackdown, though independent observers tallied more than 1,000 dead.

Junius Ho
Junius Ho. Photo: LegCo.

He said a minority of rioters incited confrontation with the martial forces and the central military commission was forced to take action. But he added that some of the students in the movement were patriotic and had good ideals such as democracy, freedom and rule of law, and people should mourn their loss.

“The dead have passed, but I believe their spirits in heaven will be pleased by the country’s development and achievements today,” Ho said.

“They will see that the country puts people’s safety first, views political safety, economic stability, military, cultural and societal safety as its roots, and views promoting international safety as its foundation to blaze a path of national security with Chinese characteristics.”

Photo: Chan Ching-wah/Citizen News.

“At the same time, I believe their spirits will be pleased to see that the country has made effort to implement the policy of ruling in accordance with the law, to push forward clean politics, to fight against corruption, and to persist on building a socialist country with Chinese characteristics ruled in accordance with the law.”

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The motion has been rejected by the pro-Beijing camp every time it was raised since 1997.

Last year, after voting “yes” for the motion, Ho praised the intentions of the Chinese students who demonstrated in the spring of 1989.

“The students basically supported a clean government, they were patriotic,” he said. “I must praise the students highly for their passion… The starting point of the students was correct.”

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.