U.S. Urges China to Reassess Tiananmen

The Associated Press
Sunday, June 4, 2006; 1:44 PM

WASHINGTON -- The United States marked the 17th anniversary of China's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square on Sunday by urging Beijing to re-evaluate its actions.

China's government has stood by the suppression of what it has called "counterrevolutionary" riots, saying it preserved social stability and paved the way for economic growth.

"The U.S. urges China to provide a full accounting of the thousands who were killed, detained or went missing and of the government's role in the massacre," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement. "We also urge China to address the ongoing violations of the rights of victims and their families and to make public the list of those still in prison."

Discussion of the crackdown is still taboo in China outside of the semiautonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Chinese television news and major newspapers did not mention the anniversary.

In Hong Kong, several hundred people holding candles gathered at Victoria Park, creating a sea of lights covering four soccer fields.

McCormack said it "is in China's own interest to clear the record and achieve its true potential by linking its efforts to modernize and prosper with greater freedoms for the Chinese people."

© 2006 The Associated Press