Tomorrow marks the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Named after the nearby Gate of Heavenly Peace, the square is instead synonymous with the brutal actions by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1989 to silence tens of thousands of individuals advocating to have a say in their government and exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
These individuals had a noble and simple request: Recognize and respect our human rights, which are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Instead of meeting this request with dignity and open debate, PRC authorities responded with violence. The courage of the brave individuals who stood shoulder-to-shoulder on June 4 reminds us that we must never stop seeking transparency on the events of that day, including a full accounting of all those killed, detained, or missing. The Tiananmen demonstrations are echoed in the struggle for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong, where a planned vigil to commemorate the massacre in Tiananmen Square was banned by local authorities.
The United States will continue to stand with the people of China as they demand that their government respect universal human rights. We honor the sacrifices of those killed 32 years ago, and the brave activists who carry on their efforts today in the face of ongoing government repression.