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Silence and heavy state security in China on anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown

In World
June 04, 2024

BEIJING, China (AP) — Checkpoints and rows of police vehicles lined a major road leading to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as China heightened security on the 35th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

China has long quashed any memory of the killings, when the Chinese government ordered in the army to end the months-long protests and uphold Communist rule. An estimated 180,000 troops and armed police rolled in with tanks and armored vehicles, and fired into crowds as they pushed toward Tiananmen Square.

The death toll remains unknown to this day. Hundreds, if not thousands are believed to have been killed in an operation that started the night of June 3 through the following morning.

Across China, the event remains a sensitive and taboo subject that is heavily censored, and any mention or reference on social media are erased.

Hundreds of tourists lined the streets leading to gates to enter Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Asked by a foreign journalist for comment on the 35th anniversary during a daily foreign ministry briefing on Monday, spokesperson Mao Ning shrugged off the event.

“The Chinese government has long since come to a clear conclusion on the political disturbance that took place in the late 1980s,” Mao said, without elaborating.

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