Statement by the Chairs on the 32nd Anniversary of the Violent Suppression of the Tiananmen Square Protests

June 3, 2021

(Washington)—Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA), the Chair and Cochair, respectively, of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) issued the following statement commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and their violent suppression. 

“Today we honor the courage and sacrifice of all those who gathered in the streets of Beijing and over 400 other cities during the Spring of 1989 calling for democracy, human rights, and an end to corruption. The violent suppression of these protests crushed peaceful demands for rights and reform and continues to complicate U.S.-China relations to this day.  

“Because all discussion of the 1989 protests continue to be censored, and commemoration events prohibited—even now in formerly autonomous Hong Kong—we commit to commemorating this important event each year until everyone in China is able to do so freely and without restriction. We stand with the surviving family members of the victims, including the courageous Tiananmen Mothers, who are still seeking truth and justice despite great personal risk.   

“Thirty-two years after the bloodshed, the Chinese government continues to brutally suppress the Chinese people’s ability to exercise their fundamental freedoms. The international community must come together to end the arbitrary detention and torture of prisoners of conscience, end the genocide in Xinjiang, end the repressive efforts to eviscerate Tibetan culture and the religious freedom of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens, and end the systematic dismantling of freedoms guaranteed to the people of Hong Kong through international treaty.

“The spirit of Tiananmen is alive in China and everywhere freedom loving people gather. We remember this tragic anniversary and pledge to work for a future where the legacy of the Tiananmen generation can finally be realized in China and around the world.”