US call for full Tiananmen massacre disclosure angers China

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The Chinese authorities have made any discussion of the unrest in Tiananmen Square taboo

China has accused the US of "prejudice" for urging Beijing to provide a full account of the crackdown on pro-democracy activists after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the US should "stop interfering in China's internal affairs".

The Chinese authorities had already reached a "clear conclusion" about the Tiananmen Square protests, he added.

Discussion of the crackdown, thought to have left hundreds dead, remains taboo.

Beijing considers the weeks of peaceful protest by students and workers to have been a "counter-revolutionary" revolt, and defends the decision to send in tanks and troops to end it on 3-4 June 1989. It has yet to provide an official death toll.

On Friday, the US state department said the 24th anniversary of the "violent suppression of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square" prompted it to remember this "tragic loss of innocent lives".

"We renew our call for the Chinese government to end harassment of those who participated in the protests and fully account for those killed, detained or missing," the statement added.

"We renew our call for China to protect the universal human rights of all its citizens; release those who have been wrongfully detained, prosecuted, incarcerated, forcibly disappeared or placed under house arrest; and end the ongoing harassment of human rights activists and their families."

On Saturday, Mr Hong warned Washington not to make "groundless accusations".

"We urge the US side to discard political prejudice, correctly treat China's development, immediately rectify its wrongdoings and stop interfering in China's internal affairs so as not to sabotage China-US relations," he said in a statement carried by the Xinhua state news agency.

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