SECURITY was stepped up at Tiananmen Square yesterday as crowds gathered elsewhere to remember the 30th anniversary of the massacre in Beijing.
Foreign journalists had umbrellas opened in front of them as they tried to photograph the site where Chinese authorities are said to have killed thousands of pro-democracy campaigners in 1989 during a crackdown.
China has never confirmed the death toll but a secret diplomatic cable in 2017 put the figure at 10,000.
In Hong Kong, between 37,000 and 180,000 people were estimated to have attended an annual vigil at Victoria Park which featured a replica of the ‘Goddess of Democracy,’ a plaster sculpture of a female figure holding a torch that was displayed in the square during the protests.
Stanley Lui, 42, said: ‘By being here, I’m standing for truth and justice, even though I’ve no hope the Chinese central government will ever do justice to the protesters.’
China erases mentions of Tiananmen online but campaigners use coded messages to evade censors. One meme this year was an ‘advert’ for face cream saying nothing happened on the day of the massacre.
Jay Jiang, 16, said unlike many others, she knew about the crackdown as a young child. ‘The bottom line is the government should not deceive the people about what happened,’ she added.
Tanks were sent to quell months of student protests between June 3 and 4, 1989, with the enduring image being of a lone man facing them down. The ‘tank man’ scene was recreated as an artwork in Taiwan, which called on China to ‘sincerely repent’.