China has lodged stern representations with the United States, its foreign ministry said on June 4, over comments by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging it to come clean on the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
“The only thing I want to emphasize is that the U.S. Secretary of State has absolutely no qualifications to demand the Chinese government do anything,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.
Pompeo said he urged China to make a full public account of those killed, detained or who went missing during a crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The Chinese government sent tanks to quell the June 4, 1989 protests, and has never released a death toll. Estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
The Tiananmen crackdown is a taboo subject in China and 29 years later, it remains a point of contention between China and many western countries.