China marked 30 years since the deadly Tiananmen crackdown on June 4 with a wall of silence and extra security after arresting activists and tightening internet censorship ahead of the politically sensitive anniversary.
On a gray, overcast day, police checked the identification cards of every tourist and commuter leaving the subway near Tiananmen Square, the site of the pro-democracy protests that were brutally extinguished by tanks and soldiers on June 4, 1989.
Foreign journalists were not allowed onto the square at all.
The United States marked the occasion by hailing the “heroic” movement of 1989 and denouncing a “new wave of abuses” in China.
But in China, the Communist Party made sure the anniversary remained in the distant past, detaining several activists in the runup to June 4 while popular livestreaming sites conspicuously shut down for “technical” maintenance.
Over the years, the party has censored any discussion of the protests and crackdown, which ended with the deaths of hundreds — possibly more than 1,000 — ensuring that people either never learn about what happened or fear detention if they dare discuss it openly.
The party and its high-tech police apparatus have tightened control over civil society since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, rounding up activists, rights lawyers and even Marxist students who sympathized with labor movements. (AFP-Jiji)