China Eases Up Slightly on Tiananmen Anniversary
Government allows memorials for the first time
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2007 9:51 AM CDT
Chinese soldiers stand guard during the flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen square in Beijing, China Monday June 4, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As part of its campaign to attract Western visitors to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China allowed Tiananmen Square memorials this year for the first time since the protests of June 4, 1989. The government maintains that the uprising was a counterrevolutionary riot and refuses to release details; a security crackdown in the square normally prevents citizens from commemorating the event.

Activists used the slight relaxing of government control to call for political reform and demand that Beijing disclose the extent of the reprisals it exacted on Tiananmen protesters. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong—the only place in the country where the government permits large public observances of the Tiananmen Square clashes—a candlelight vigil marked the anniversary.