Tiananmen anniversary: China blasts UNHRC chief, US

China today rejected as "strong interference" the calls by UNHRC chief Navi Pillay and the US to release the truth behind the Tiananmen crackdown on this day 25 years ago and asked them to stop making "irresponsible remarks" on its internal affairs.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 04, 2014, 17:33 PM IST

Beijing: China today rejected as "strong interference" the calls by UNHRC chief Navi Pillay and the US to release the truth behind the Tiananmen crackdown on this day 25 years ago and asked them to stop making "irresponsible remarks" on its internal affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the statement by the world rights body`s chief amounted to "gravely interfering" in China`s judicial sovereignty and internal affairs.

Pillay yesterday called on China`s Communist authorities to immediately release over 10 "activists" rounded up ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary for their exercise of their rights and freedom of expression. She also asked China to release the truth about what had actually happened at the Sqaure in Beijing in 1989.

"It is outside her mandate and represents strong interference in China`s internal affairs. China (is) firmly opposed to that," Hong said.

China tries hard to quash any public memories of the June 3-4 crackdown by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) when soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed civilians -- and by some estimates, more than 1,000 -- to crush a movement by pro-democracy students.

While China detained dozens of activists as a precaution to prevent any demonstrations, tens of thousands gathered in Hong Kong for potentially the biggest commemoration yet seen in the honour of those killed in the 1989 massacre.

Pro-China supporters also organised a rally in Hong Kong defending the crackdown leading to tensions between the two groups, the South China Morning Post reported.

China continues to defend the crackdown saying the progress made by the country in the last few decades justified its decision.The authorities classify the 1989 protests as counter-revolutionary riots and hold no memorial.

Hong said China`s "tremendous" achievement in the field of human rights is there for all to see.

Without directly referring to the Tiananmen incident, Hong said: "Over the 30 years of reforms and opening up, China has achieved remarkable progress in social and economic development."

"We keep improving our democratic system and rule of law and advantage of our socialist system becoming more obvious" he said asserting that Chinese model of socialist system is in line with the fundamental interest of the majority of the people.

"We ask the US to respect China`s judicial sovereignty and stop making irresponsible remarks on China`s internal affairs," he said referring to the US which also called for the release of all those detained.

An editorial in state-run Global Times criticised a "handful" of dissidents settled abroad for carrying on the campaign.

"The younger generation has avoided being misled by forces antagonistic to China`s current political system. Chinese society has never forgotten the incident 25 years ago but not talking about it indicates the attitude of society," it said.

"Anti-China forces and Chinese exiles in the West have spared no efforts recently but they will be disappointed again. Chinese society still remembers how poor we were 25 years ago.

But the country has grown into the world`s second largest economy today. Disintegration of the Soviet Union, civil war in Yugoslavia, and what is happening in Ukraine and Thailand have disturbed us more than preaching and appeals from the West," it said.

The editorial said: "The West has also granted activity space and open support to Xinjiang and Tibetan separatists. These are powerful lessons for Chinese people."

"We will not follow the steps of the West."

What happened 25 years ago and many incidents of turbulence in the world have taught us to be wiser, it said.