In a yearly tradition, Taiwan has called upon China to apologize for the Tiananmen Square crackdown 31 years ago while Beijing has promptly brushed this demand aside.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a statement on Wednesday, asking China to re-examine the “historical truth” of that bloody issue and issue a “sincere apology.”
“We believe that those currently in power should have the courage to correct mistakes, immediately initiate reforms, and return power to the people,” the statement added.
Later in the day, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to a question about the statement by calling it “total nonsense.”
“As to the political disturbance in the late 1980s, China has drawn a clear conclusion,” Zhao said. “The great achievements after the founding of the new China fully demonstrate that the development path chosen by the new China is totally correct and in line with China’s national conditions.”
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has made a post on Facebook commemorating the 31st anniversary of the crackdown, writing that “In China, there are only 364 days a year, one day is forgotten,” she explains that there are also used to dates missing on Taiwan’s calendar but they have been brought to light.
Tsai said she hoped the world would never lose another day before expressing her support for Hong Kong.
While this sort of cross-Strait back and forth is usual for June 4, it has been a bit of a different anniversary this year. One because there will be no large-scale commemoration event in Hong Kong after authorities extended coronavirus regulations against gatherings.
To ensure that the annual vigil for victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown is not held, Victoria Park has been sealed.
#HongKong authorities have secured the perimeter of Victoria Park, where the annual vigil commemorating victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre is usually held. Photo: May James/HKFP. @SiuSinGallery pic.twitter.com/fcwqWYrQeE
— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@HongKongFP) June 4, 2020
And second because of what’s happening in the United States where President Donald Trump has threatened to call in the military to put an end to the protests that erupted following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
Other Republican politicians have lent their support to this idea, culminating with the New York Times publishing an opinion piece from Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton titled “Send In the Troops” on the anniversary of the day that tanks began rolling towards Tiananmen Square.