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Last Updated : Jun 06, 2019 05:07 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Photostory | Breaking the silence around Tiananmen Square on 'May 35'

Even when social media was relatively new in China, netizens and tight censorship were embroiled in a game of cat-and-mouse. So when usage of 'June 4' was banned, people circumvented the law and referred to the Tiananmen Square massacre as 'May 35'.

Aakriti Handa @aakriti_handa
On June 4, 1989, as over a million students held demonstrations at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square demanding a democratic state, the Chinese Premier Li Peng had ordered Martial Law. (Image: Reuters)
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On June 4, 1989, over a million students held demonstrations at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square demanding a democratic state. The Chinese Premier Li Peng had ordered Martial Law. (Image: Reuters)

On the night of June 4, the army marched in with tankers. They rained bullets at unsuspecting students, killing at least 3000-4000, eyewitnesses say. An official death toll has never been released. Besides, over 10,000 people were arrested. (Image: Reuters)
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On the night of June 4, the army marched in with tankers. They rained bullets on unsuspecting students, killing at least 3000-4000, eyewitnesses say. An official death toll has never been released. Besides, over 10,000 people were arrested. (Image: Reuters)

As Army tanks rolled in at Tiananmen Square, a lone man stood in front of them in an attempt to block them and in defiance of the Martial Law. The iconic image is a memoir of the massacre and the man is popularly known as 'Tank Man'. (Image: Reuters)
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As Army tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, a lone man stood in front of them in an attempt to block them and in defiance of the Martial Law. The iconic image is a memoir of the massacre and the man is popularly known as 'Tank Man'. (Image: Reuters)

Chinese Premiers, through the years, have ensured that the darkest chapter in country’s history, is erased from History books. Today, on the 30th anniversary of the massacre, China will closely monitor and tightly censor any discussion or event commemorating the Tiananmen Square. Restrictions have been placed on the ‘Tiananmen Mothers’, a group of elderly mothers, who lost their son in the crackdown. Search terms ‘Tiananmen’, ‘6, 4, 30’ have been blocked on their microblog Weibo. (Image: Reuters)
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Chinese Premiers, through the years, have ensured that the darkest chapter in the country’s history, is erased from the history books. Today, on the 30th anniversary of the massacre, China will closely monitor and tightly censor any discussion or event commemorating the Tiananmen Square. Restrictions have been placed on the ‘Tiananmen Mothers’, a group of elderly mothers, who lost their sons in the crackdown. Search terms ‘Tiananmen’, ‘6, 4, 30’ have been blocked on their microblog, Weibo. (Image: Reuters)

When the Chinese officials were pushed to comment on the massacre, they said that the crackdown was the “correct” policy to end “political turbulence” at the time, The Guardian has reported. The state-run tabloid Global Times reiterated that sentiment calling it a “vaccination” for Chinese society, providing “immunity against any major political turmoil in the future”. Meanwhile, foreign news sites that had not been previously blocked in China, including CNN, Reuters, and Bloomberg, could not be accessed on June 4. (Image: Reuters)
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When Chinese officials were pushed to comment on the massacre, they said that the crackdown was the “correct” policy to end “political turbulence” at the time, The Guardian reported. The state-run tabloid Global Times reiterated that sentiment calling it a “vaccination” for Chinese society, providing “immunity against any major political turmoil in the future”. Meanwhile, foreign news sites that had not been previously blocked in China, including CNN, Reuters, and Bloomberg, could not be accessed on June 4. (Image: Reuters)

In neighbouring Hong Kong, activists are commemorating the event with an annual candlelight vigil attracting about 180,000 people. (Image: Reuters)
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In neighbouring Hong Kong, activists are commemorating the event with an annual candlelight vigil attracting about 180,000 people. (Image: Reuters)

Recently, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that China must “make a full public accounting of those killed or missing”. China on Tuesday called those remarks “an affront to the Chinese people”. (Image: Reuters)
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Recently, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that China must “make a full public accounting of those killed or missing”. China on June 4 called those remarks “an affront to the Chinese people”. (Image: Reuters)

First Published on Jun 4, 2019 10:00 pm
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