Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Chinese dissidents seek apology

REMEMBRANCE The group of exiles is launching a campaign next week that will culminate in June with the release of a ‘white paper’ on the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre

DPA , TAIPEI

Exiled Chinese dissidents will launch a series of campaigns to demand that China apologize for the 1989 massacre of protesters on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, a ­Taiwan-based Chinese dissident said yesterday.

The call comes in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Chinese Communist government’s bloody crackdown on student protesters on June 4, 1989, the death toll of which has never been established.

Wuer Kaixi, one of the student leaders in the 1989 democracy protests in Beijing, said the activities would begin next week and continue to June 3 or June 4, closing with a news conference in Washington.

At the news conference, Wang Dan (王丹), a student leader of the democracy movement now based in the US, will release a “white paper” on the Tiananmen Incident, Wuer Kaixi said.

The white paper will attempt to demonstrate that there was no need for China to use force to suppress the student protest and will demand China apologize and compensate the family members of the victims of the Tiananmen massacre.

“Some two dozen exiled dissidents will attend the Washington news conference. I am scheduled to attend the Washington news conference but I have also been invited to go to France to attend commemorative activities there,” Wuer Kaixi said.

The 1989 democracy ­movement in Beijing, which lasted for months and seemed to be on the brink of forcing the Chinese government to introduce reform and embrace democracy, ended in bloodshed on June 4, 1989.

China used tanks and soldiers to drive away hunger-striking students camping out on ­Tiananmen Square, allegedly killing hundreds of them.

The Tiananmen Mothers Campaign, founded by relatives of the Tiananmen Massacre victims, has drafted a list of 155 people who were killed in the Tiananmen Massacre. The group has also been demanding that China apologize for the crackdown and compensate family members of those killed.

But China has declared the ­Tiananmen affair a “counter-revolutionary incident” and insisted no one was killed.

After the suppression of the democracy movement, many Chinese democracy activists and students leaders fled China to avoid being arrested.

Both Wang Dan and Wuer Kaixi went to the US.

Wuer Kaixi married a Taiwanese student while studying at Harvard and has been living in Taiwan for several years. He is now a manager of an international financial investment company.

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