06/04/2014, 00.00
CHINA - HONG KONG

Tiananmen Square under control for June 4. In Hong Kong prepares vigil to remember those killed

Police and security personnel in riot gear. Tourists stopped; journalists threatened. Chinese media claim there is a plan by "Western anti-Chinese forces" to hit China. At least 150 thousand people expected at Victoria Park Vigil. Many mainland Chinese arriving secretly to commemorate those killed in the massacre.

Beijing ( AsiaNews) - The Tiananmen psychosis strikes again. Thousands of police and security personnel armed with machine guns, were deployed at key points throughout the city to prevent any attempt to commemorate the massacre of students and workers in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 . Every inch of the city is under strict security control thanks municipal Guards, security volunteers and district committee members.

In the largest square in the world, next to the huge portrait of Mao - which students pelted with rotten eggs and ink 25 years ago - the police are also armed with fire extinguishers. Fire engines and ambulances have also been deployed, in fear of another attack similar to the one a few months ago, attributed to Xinjiang separatists.

Policemen in uniform and plain cloths are checking the identity of every passerby. Some tourists who were without their passport were stopped from entering the Imperial Palace.

For the past 25 years, the Chinese authorities have made every effort to blot out all memory of this anniversary, in which the People's army and turned on the Chinese population, killing hundreds and perhaps thousands of young people who had been seeking democracy and an end to corruption.

Foreign journalists have been warned: if they dare write stories and produce reports related to the anniversary, they risk "serious consequences", including the withdrawal of their visa.

None of the Chinese newspapers has dared to report on the event 25 years ago. But the Global Times, in its English edition, has published an editorial that states "Chinese society has never forgotten the incident 25 years ago but not talking about it indicates the attitude of society." According to the Party leadership, the massacre "was necessary" to safeguard  China's economic development. Moreover, the Global Times states that  "the Tiananmen incident"  is due to the "anti-China forces in the West who will do anything to hurt China".

In Hong Kong, one of the few places where the events of '89 can still be commemorated, tonight there will be the traditional Victoria Park vigil. The organizers hope about 150 - 200 thousand people will attend. For several years, this moving event secretly draws together many mainland Chinese, who choose this time of year to "go on holiday" to the former British colony. Each year the vigil organizers ask China's leadership to revise its judgment of the '89 pro-democracy movement, from "counterrevolutionary" to "patriotic". They also ask Beijing to ensure democracy in China and Hong Kong, where there is no universal suffrage.

 

 

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