Marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for the Chinese government “to make a full, public accounting of those killed or missing to give comfort to the many victims of this dark chapter of history.”
There is no official account of the deaths, injuries or arrests on June 4, 1989, when armed troops stormed the ancient palace grounds to force out pro-democracy demonstrators.
Citizens who publicly acknowledge the incident are routinely detained near the anniversary every year. The U.S. Department of State reported that at least two dozen people who organized or attended events in China commemorating the 28th anniversary were arrested in 2017.
Reflecting on the aftermath of the 1989 events, Pompeo said that hopes for a more open and tolerant China had been dashed.
“Today, Chinese citizens have been subjected to a new wave of abuses, especially in Xinjiang, where the Communist Party leadership is methodically attempting to strangle Uighur culture and stamp out the Islamic faith,” he said.
The secretary praised Chinese citizens’ determined efforts to exercise their human rights, pursue justice and express their views.
“We salute the heroes of the Chinese people who bravely stood up thirty years ago in Tiananmen Square to demand their rights. Their exemplary courage has served as an inspiration to future generations calling for freedom and democracy,” he said.