Remembering June 4th in Mainland China

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I mentioned in my previous post that Hong Kong is the only place in China that allows public ceremonies for the June 4, 1989 killings. But over the past couple days there have also been some memorials on the mainland. They are very small in scale, but given the obstacles that must be overcome to discuss the topic there they are all worth noting.

In Beijing on Sunday night Ding Zilin, who heads the Tiananmen Mothers support group, marked the death of her 17-year-old son. She placed flowers on the spot where she believes troops gunned him down in 1989. According to the South China Morning Post, it was the first time that she was allowed to make such a memorial.

Bao Tong, a high level official who was purged after the massacre, gave interviews to foreign media including Reuters. “June 4 was a tragedy not just for China but for the whole of mankind. We will still be talking about June 4 in 1,000 years time,” the news agency quoted him as saying. He also wrote an essay about the anniversary that was broadcast by Radio Free Asia.

And finally, Reuters reported that an advertisement in support of the Tiananmen Mothers appeared in a newspaper in the central Chinese city of Chengdu, which police are now investigating.