A car with the licence plate “US8964” – the date of the Tiananmen crackdown – was impounded in Causeway Bay on Sunday, the 34th anniversary of the crackdown.
The car’s owner, Anthony Chiu, told HKFP that officers cited his embossed licence plate, and brake as reasons to impound the vehicle. He added that his car could be held for 72 hours.
“This year was the first time [my car was impounded]. Last year, I was stopped by the police twice before officers let me go,” Chiu said.
He said he had been surrounded by a number of police motorcycles soon after entering Causeway Bay on Sunday. He added that he never had issues with his embossed licence plate in previous vehicle inspections.
The car made an appearance in Causeway Bay last year on June 4, when it was stopped by police outside Windsor House on Great George Street. When asked by HKFP why the car had been stopped, a traffic cop said he did not know why.
Chiu told reporters that he lived nearby and had come to have dinner. A passer-by told him that his car had a “really nice licence plate.”
Sunday marked the first post-Covid Tiananmen crackdown anniversary in Hong Kong. It was also the fourth year without an official commemoration.
The Tiananmen crackdown occurred on June 4, 1989, ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, died when the People’s Liberation Army dispersed protesters in Beijing.
Despite the lack of organised mourning events, the police was deployed en masse, with at least a dozen of people stopped and searched or taken away by officers.