Tiananmen provokes fresh China-US spat

US call to fully account for those killed, detained or missing in 1989 crackdown draws angry response from Beijing.

    Tiananmen provokes fresh China-US spat
    China has long accused the US of meddling in its internal affairs by raising the Tiananmen issue [File: Reuters]

    The Chinese government has accused the United States of "political prejudice" and "ignoring facts" for its recent comments on Tiananmen square, Xinhua news agency has reported.

    The US State Department had on Friday called on the Chinese government to fully account for those killed, detained or missing in the 1989 military crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square.

    But in response, Hong Lei, China's foreign ministry spokesperson,on Saturday urged the US "to discard political prejudice and correctly treat China's development".

    "A clear conclusion has already been made concerning the political turmoil that happened in the late 1980s," Xinhua said, citing Hong.

    [The US] releases "similar statements year after year, ignoring facts and making groundless accusations against the Chinese government," which is a "rude interference in China's internal affairs.

    Chinese foreign ministry

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had said  the US was remembering the "tragic loss of innocent lives" ahead of the 24th anniversary on June 4 of the violent crushing of student-led pro-democracy protests.

    "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," Psaki said in her statement.

    But the Chinese government said the US "releases similar statements year after year, ignoring facts and making groundless accusations against the Chinese government," which is a "rude interference in China's internal affairs," Xinhua reported.

    The Chinese government has never fully disclosed what happened when the military crushed the protests, which it branded a "counterrevolutionary riot". 

    Hundreds, possibly more, were killed.

    The topic remains taboo in China.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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