Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 5 News List

China bristles at US mention of Tiananmen

AFP , BEIJING

China reacted angrily yesterday to US comments about the 1989 Tiananmen events, telling the US not to interfere in Beijing's internal affairs and pay attention to its own human rights problems.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with and resolutely opposes the US statement on [the] `Tiananmen incident,'" Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Liu Jianchao (劉建超) said in a statement published by the official Xinhua news agency.

"[The US statement] severely violates the basic norms guiding international relations and wantonly interferes into China's internal affairs," Liu said.

Liu's comments came after the US released a statement on Sunday on the 17th anniversary of the crackdown on democratic protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in which hundreds, if not thousands, of people were killed.

"Seventeen years ago ... the Chinese government brutally suppressed peaceful demonstrations by its own citizens who were supporting political reform and democracy," US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement.

"The US urges China to provide a full accounting of the thousands who were killed, detained, or went missing and of the government's role in the massacre," he said.

McCormack called it "in China's own interest" to clear the record of the violent crackdown on the six-week long protests.

But Liu said that China's position on the Tiananmen events was well-known.

"China has already had a clear-cut conclusion on the political disturbance that took place in China at the end of the 1980s," Liu said.

China has said previously that the military action was necessary to prevent a counter-revolutionary uprising.

On human rights in general, Liu defended China's progress in building democratic and legal systems.

"The Chinese people enjoy all the human rights and freedom in line with the law," Liu said.

Liu also "asked the United States to seriously think about and reflect on how to deal with its own severe violation of human rights within and out of the United States," according to Xinhua.

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