China reacts angrily to Tiananmen comments

China has responded angrily to comments by the United States on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The White House said Wednesday it “will always speak out in support of the basic freedoms the protesters at Tiananmen Square sought.”

It also called on Beijing “to account for those killed, detained or missing in connection with the events surrounding June 4, 1989.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said the country is strongly dissatisfied with the statement, which showed what it called a total disregard of facts.

In an article in the official Xinhua news agency, spokesman Hong Lei said China has lodged solemn representations over the comments.

Wednesday’s anniversary of the Beijing massacre passed quietly in China, where public discussion of the incident is not allowed.

In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of people held candles, sang songs and listened to speeches Wednesday at a vigil to mark the anniversary.

Renz Tse, an activist taking part in the vigil, said it is crucial that Beijing know Hong Kong supports democratic freedoms and opposes violence.

“We understand the importance of fighting for the democracy of the China. As Hong Kong is a part of China and nowadays the political reforms are now opposed by the Communist Party – they are trying to elect a chief executive that only responds to the mainland China government,” said Renz.

At least hundreds, and possibly thousands, of people died on June 3 to 4, 1989, when troops broke up the student-led pro-democracy protests.

China’s government has never given a death toll or an official statement of what happened. It defends its actions as necessary to preserve stability.

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