On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed China in a statement honoring the “heroic protest movement of the Chinese people.”
“The hundreds of thousands of protesters who gathered in Beijing and in other cities around China suffered grievously in pursuit of a better future for their country,” Pompeo wrote. “The number of dead is still unknown. We express our deep sorrow to the families still grieving their lost loved ones, including the courageous Tiananmen Mothers, who have never stopped seeking accountability, despite great personal risk. The events of thirty years ago still stir our conscience, and the conscience of freedom-loving people around the world.”
Pompeo added that China has failed to become a more open and tolerant society.
“China’s one-party state tolerates no dissent and abuses human rights whenever it serves its interests,” Pompeo added.
Pompeo also pointed out that many Chinese citizens are currently undergoing abuse for their religion, citing the Uighur Muslims. The Daily Wire previously reported that it is estimated that at least one million Uighur Muslims have been forcibly relocated to internment camps for “re-education.”
The secretary’s statement also called upon the Chinese government “to make a full, public accounting of those killed or missing” during the Tiananmen Square protests “to give comfort to the many victims of this dark chapter of history.”
“Such a step would begin to demonstrate the Communist Party’s willingness to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Pompeo claimed.
In response, the Chinese embassy in Washington claimed the statement violated international law and was made out of “prejudice and arrogance.”
“Under the pretext of human rights, the statement grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs, attacks its system, and smears its domestic and foreign policies,” the Chinese embassy said in its own statement. “This is an affront to the Chinese people and a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to it.”
The Chinese embassy’s statement goes on to brush over the Tiananmen Square massacre and its aftermath and instead brags about China’s purported progress:
The Chinese government and people reached the verdict on the political incident of the late 1980s long ago. Over the past four decades of reform and opening-up, China has enjoyed rapid economic and social development, continuous progress in democracy and the rule of law, flourishing culture and significantly improved standards of living. China’s human rights are in the best period ever. Socialism with Chinese characteristics, a choice of history and the people, has been proved a right path in line with China’s national conditions and supported by the whole population. China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and to the development of human rights in China and the whole world, and has made significant contribution to the international human rights governance. This is a fact that is recognized by all unbiased people.
The statement concludes by claiming that those who attempt to “patronize and bully the Chinese people” will “never succeed,” but “only end up in the ash heap of history.”
According to The Guardian, China ramped up security forces throughout Tiananmen Square in Beijing for the anniversary and prohibited foreign journalists from entering the square.