Hong Kong: Beijing slams US and EU consulates over Tiananmen candles

The Chinese authorities considered that the candles lit by the consulates of the United States and the European Union in Hong Kong to commemorate the events of June 4, 1989 in Tiananmen represent a “crazy political spectacle” aimed at destabilizing the territory.

“Any attempt to exploit Hong Kong to carry out infiltration or subversive activities against the mainland (China, editor’s note) crosses the red line (…), is absolutely intolerable,” a spokesperson for the Hong Kong office of the Chinese said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We once again urge relevant organs of Hong Kong countries to immediately stop (…) interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in general, and avoid playing with fire,” he added.

Candles were lit Friday evening in the windows of the US Consulate building, which is adjacent to the home of Hong Kong-appointed leader Carrie Lam, as well as the office of the European Union.

These diplomatic missions also posted pictures of Tiananmen tribute made of candles, on social networks.

For three decades in Hong Kong, huge crowds have held candlelight vigils on June 4 to commemorate those killed in 1989 during the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing.

But this year, Chinese authorities have officially banned any memorials in the former British colony. Police in particular blocked access to Victoria Park on Friday, which has been the traditional gathering point for these festivities.

However, some Hong Kong residents have found other ways to celebrate the anniversary, including lighting small street lights or windows in the evening.

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The authorities relied, as last year, on restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic to ban the vigil. However, the city has not recorded any case of local contamination of unknown origin in more than a month.

Last year, the police had already banned it, but they monitored without interference the gatherings of thousands of people in Victoria Park. Since then, some organizers have received prison sentences.

In one year, the political climate has deteriorated dramatically in the former British colony with the continued suppression of the pro-democracy movement that mobilized masses in the streets in 2019 against Beijing’s intervention.

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