The US consulate and the office of the EU in Hong Kong have displayed commemorative candles in their windows on the anniversary of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, died when the People’s Liberation Army cracked down on protesters around Tiananmen Square in Beijing 34 years ago.
“Any attempt to exploit Hong Kong to carry out infiltration or sabotage activities against the mainland crosses the red line… is absolutely intolerable,” a spokesperson for the Hong Kong office of China’s foreign ministry said, without mentioning the crackdown.
The EU and US ignored warnings last year to avoid a repeat.
The British embassy in Beijing posted Chinese newspaper coverage from 1989 across its social media platforms, and tweeted: “Today we remember those who were lost during China’s government crackdowns on 4 June 1989. Despite China’s ban on public discussion of the horror of that day, we posted the below image on Chinese social media today, showing how Party media had once reported on the events.”
It later added: “Within 20 minutes, censors have removed our post on Weibo, censoring the news as reported by the Party’s most authoritative news outlet on the day of the massacre.”
Commemorations muted amid arrests
On Saturday, police arrested four people and held another four for questioning, after activists and artists seeking to mark the anniversary were apprehended by officers in Causeway Bay.
It is the fourth year where no official commemorations have been scheduled. The police rejected applications to hold the annual, mass candlelight vigils in Victoria Park in 2020 and 2021 citing Covid-19 health concerns.
Before the pandemic and the implementation of the 2020 security law, Hong Kong was one of the only places in Chinese soil where public mourning of the crackdown was permitted. In June 2019, then-leader Carrie Lam said the vigils were “proof that Hong Kong is a free place. But, last month, top officials would not clearly state whether commemorations are still legal.
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