Taiwan Conflict

Taiwan Remembers, Hong Kong Silenced, While the World Watches

Main image to the post Taiwan Remembers, Hong Kong Silenced, While the World Watches

Echoes of Resistance in Taiwan and Hong Kong

On June 4th, 1989, Chinese troops and tanks brutally dispersed peaceful protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, silencing the voices of thousands demanding greater political freedoms. The crackdown, still shrouded in censorship within China, continues to cast a long shadow, sparking annual commemorations and acts of defiance across the region.

In Taiwan, hundreds gathered at Taipei's Liberty Square, laying candles on a banner marking the 35th anniversary of the tragedy. Activists used the platform to criticize the Chinese government for its continued suppression of human rights and its claim over the self-governing island. President Lai Ching-te, a staunch advocate for Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy, vowed to keep the memory of Tiananmen alive, drawing sharp rebukes from Beijing.

The Tiananmen Mothers, a group comprised of relatives of victims, issued a statement calling for a resolution to the tragedy "in an open, fair, and just manner." Their plea resonates with the countless lives lost and the families forever scarred by the events of 1989.

Across the border in Hong Kong, once the sole place on Chinese soil where public commemoration was allowed, the annual Tiananmen vigil has been silenced. Police patrolled the streets, suppressing any attempts to gather and remember. The mass mourning, once a symbol of Hong Kong's unique freedoms, has been extinguished under the shadow of the national security law imposed by Beijing.

Despite the crackdown and ongoing censorship, the spirit of Tiananmen continues to flicker in the hearts of many. In Hong Kong, theatre worker Tsang, reading the play "May 35" – a coded reference to June 4th – expressed her determination to remember for those who cannot speak. "People may not come out because they are worried," she said, "but there is still a seed in their hearts."

The Tiananmen Square crackdown remains a stark reminder of the human cost of suppressing dissent. Yet, the echoes of resistance in Taiwan and Hong Kong demonstrate the enduring power of memory and the unwavering pursuit of freedom and democracy. As long as the flame of remembrance burns, the victims of Tiananmen will not be forgotten, and the fight for a more just and equitable world will continue.

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Round userpic of the post author Bella Ciao
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09