Madam Secretary

China upset with Clinton’s Tiananmen remarks

China upset with Clinton’s Tiananmen remarks

Tiananmen, June 6, 1989

China has expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to Secretary Clinton’s statements marking the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters. (In the photo above, the People’s Liberation Army guards a street leading to Tiananmen Square on June 6, 1989, two days after the infamous crackdown.)

On June 3, Clinton called on the Chinese government to “provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing, both to learn and to heal.” She also said China should “give the rule of law, protection of internationally-recognized human rights, and democratic development the same priority as it has given to economic reform.”

In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized Clinton for “crudely meddling in Chinese domestic affairs.” He also said, “We urge the United States to forsake its prejudices, correct its erroneous ways and avoid obstructing and damaging China-U.S. relations.”

The Chinese government has never published a count of those who died. A New York Times article yesterday stated that hundreds died.

The bold tone of Clinton’s remarks are a contrast to those she made in February, in which she seemed to downplay human rights as a priority.

Photo: MANUEL CENETA/AFP/Getty Images