Thirty-three years
ago, in 1989, a tank and a student stood face-to-face, the entire strength of
the Chinese communist state against the spirit of youthful rebellion seeking democracy
and reform, and the image became one of the most poignant symbols of the
fettered human spirit standing up to an aggressor. In 2022, remembering the
Tiananmen Square massacre, in public, is outlawed by the Chinese state.

All over the
world, however, candlelit vigils were held to remember the hundreds killed
fighting for democracy. In Taiwan capital Taipei, perhaps the only Chinese-speaking
part of the world where the day is marked, activists were to gather to commemorate
the anniversary.

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Taiwan’s China-policy making
Mainland Affairs Council called on Beijing “to address the historical facts of
the Tiananmen Square incident with sincerity, and embark on political reforms
[and] implement democratic governance.” Beijing, instead, set up facial
recognition devices at roads leading to the squares.

Antony Blinken,
the US Secretary of State, termed the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre “a brutal
assault”. “The efforts of those brave individuals will not be forgotten. Each
year, we honour and remember those who stood up for human rights and fundamental
freedoms,” he said.

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“While many are no
longer able to speak for themselves, we and many around the world continue to
stand up on their behalf and support their peaceful efforts to promote
democracy and the rights of individuals,” said Blinken.

Meanwhile, Chinese
foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said reiterated the Beijing’s
official line: “The Chinese government has long ago come to a clear conclusion
about the political incident that happened in the 1980s.”

At Beijing’s
Tiananmen Square, there are double or triple the number of police officers
present. All references to June 4 have been removed from Chinese social media.
Hong Kong police said that the location where commemorations are held will be
closed off.