China rebukes Pompeo on 30th anniversary of protests

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

China has rebuked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for remarks he made on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest.

Mr Pompeo criticised China’s human rights record and called for it to reveal how many died in the crackdown.

However, a Chinese embassy spokesman in Washington DC said his comments were “an affront to the Chinese people”.

Dark chapter of history
On Monday, Mr Pompeo had urged China to “make a full public accounting of those killed or missing to give comfort to the many victims of this dark chapter of history”.

He also accused China of “[abusing] human rights whenever it serves its interests”, giving the example of China cracking down on its minority Uighur people in the Xinjiang region.

“US “hopes have been dashed” of China becoming “a more open and tolerant society” through greater global integration,” he added.

Public reference to Tiananmen Square
On Tuesday, in a rare public reference to Tiananmen Square, the

Chinese embassy said China had “reached the verdict on the political incident of the late 1980s long ago”.

A spokesman said Mr Pompeo had “used the pretext of human rights” for a statement that “grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs”.

Clampdown by communist authorities
In 1989, a large political protest in Beijing triggered a brutal clampdown by the communist authorities.

The Chinese government has never said how many people died at Tiananmen Square, although estimates range from the hundreds to thousands.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke