Below is a statement from the International Campaign for Tibet.
Thirty-two years ago on 4 June, the Chinese government killed thousands of its own people at Tiananmen Square.
All these years later, the International Campaign for Tibet remains inspired by the numerous Chinese, many of them young students, who filled the streets that day, demanding democracy and freedom. On this anniversary, we express our solidarity with all Chinese who, despite the massacre in Tiananmen Square, have never given up on liberty for the Chinese people.
We also remember the Tibetans who bravely protested that same year until China imposed martial law in Tibet’s capital of Lhasa on 8 March 1989. Since invading Tibet more than 70 years ago, the Chinese government has systematically worked to eliminate Tibetans’ unique religion, language and way of life, and today, the survival of Tibetan culture is in peril.
We are deeply concerned at attempts of the Chinese authorities to systematically suppress the memory of the events at Tiananmen Square and to rewrite history in their favor, as they likewise continuously intend to distort the history of Tibet.
We also think of the Uyghurs and other Muslim groups who are facing genocide and mass internment camps at the hands of Chen Quanguo, the Chinese Communist Party official who previously served as party secretary in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Across the PRC, Chinese leaders are committing historic levels of persecution against people of faith.
In addition, we express our support for the Hong Kongers who, like their predecessors at Tiananmen Square, put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. Although the Chinese Communist Party claimed that democracy does not fit Chinese culture, the people of Hong Kong, like those in Taiwan, show how much Chinese people can elevate global democracy outside the grip of the CCP.
We are also in solidarity with Mongolians who are protesting against a new bilingual education policy by China in their homeland that is endangering the Mongolian language, just as Tibetan language is facing a similar threat.
Lastly, we express our solidarity with people across the globe, from India to Africa, Europe to the United States, who are seeing their rights curtailed because China is enforcing its repression everywhere. Whether it’s Asian countries watching China seize control of their land, or American employees losing their jobs for supporting Tibet, China’s authoritarianism is a threat to liberty worldwide.
Thankfully, countries around the world are increasingly taking stands against the Chinese Communist Party, including the European Parliament recently freezing the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investments and the United States passing the Tibetan Policy and Support Act, which, among other actions, increases US support for Tibetan democracy in exile.
The courageous protestors at Tiananmen Square risked everything for the right to live freely and with dignity. In their honor, we must continue to promote freedom for the Chinese people—and protect freedom from the Chinese government.