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The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Sunday called on mainland China to promote democratic political reform and guarantee human rights, while urging Beijing to release Taiwanese democracy activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) and ensure his safe return to Taiwan.

"There has been a "selective forgetting" of this event", Fan said to Slate.

Open discussion of the crackdown is forbidden in China.

A British diplomatic cable declassified in 2017, written just a day after the killings, alleged that more than 10,000 people were killed by Chinese troops on June 4, 1989. A British diplomatic cable released a year ago said at least 10,000 people were killed.

The Tiananmen crackdown is a taboo subject in China, while 29 years later it remained a point of contention between China and many Western countries.

A music video honoring Liu was screened that depicted empty chairs in various unlikely locations - a visual motif adopted by supporters of the late democracy advocate to remind the world that, when Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, the Chinese government prevented him from attending the award ceremony.

In response, Ms Hua, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, yesterday said it had lodged an official diplomatic protest with the U.S. on the matter.

Families of Chinese democracy protesters killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown have urged President Xi Jinping to acknowledge their suffering and "re-evaluate the June Fourth massacre" as its 29th anniversary approaches.

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The Chinese government has denied any wrongdoing and called the demonstration first a "counterrevolutionary riot", then a "political turmoil" that has already settled and needs no more attention.

"But I think China's position in principle is very clear, which is that China's door to dialogue and consultations is always open", Ms Hua said.

"The U.S. Secretary of State has absolutely no qualifications to demand the Chinese government do anything", she added.

The Chinese Communist Party no longer mentions the Tiananmen incident in order to help Chinese society move on, which it has successfully done, Hu added, writing in English on Twitter, which is blocked in China.

In Taiwan, the democratic and self-ruled island China claims as its own, President Tsai Ing-wen said that if China could face up to what had happened it could become the bedrock for China's own democratic transformation.

The semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong is the only place on Chinese soil where the anniversary is openly marked with a famous vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 each year.

The CCP's interference with religion and its aggressive supervision of the activities of Chinese citizens has met with global criticism, and have seriously harmed China's worldwide image, the council's statement said.


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