Boston (June 4, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in which the People’s Liberation Army killed pro-democracy protestors in China. This year, having broken its promise to maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy, the Chinese government banned Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen vigil for the first time.


“On June 4, 1989, the Chinese government unleashed military force against protestors raising their voices in the pursuit of freedom,” said Senator Markey. “As we watch brave protesters speak truth to power and stand up for equality here in our own country, we are reminded of the great tragedy that unfolded in China 31 years ago, when the Chinese people stood up to their government. Whether 1989 or today, any violent tactics used against peaceful protesters are deplorable no matter who wields the weapons.


“Today, we honor the memory of the young protestors who lost their lives to the People’s Liberation Army, and we do so by calling out the continued malfeasance of the CCP.  Right now, the CCP is trying to erase the Uyghur culture through mass detention, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance. Just in the last few days, Beijing, unable to accept that democracy can flourish anywhere, has taken significant steps to stifle freedom in Hong Kong, starting down the brutal path it has taken in Tibet. The Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping continuously and relentlessly seek to crush dissent and spread authoritarianism in order to cement their own power.


“Just as we call out the CCP for its bad behavior, so too must we call out injustice wherever we see it. For more than three decades, protesters around the world, including in the United States, have been inspired by the bravery shown by the protesters of Tiananmen, many risking their lives to fight for their rights. They must not have died in vain. We must continue to hold up these values as the focal point of American foreign policy, but we have to recognize our own failings, and work to fully achieve the same freedoms here at home.”