24 October 2018
Yan Jiaqi hopes Beijing will redress the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown at some point in the near future  under 'appropriate conditions'. Photo:
Yan Jiaqi hopes Beijing will redress the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown at some point in the near future under 'appropriate conditions'. Photo:

China watcher hopes Xi will redress 1989 Tiananmen crackdown

Mainland political expert Yan Jiaqi is hopeful that President Xi Jinping will support redress for the 1989 crackdown on student activists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square when the time is ripe.

Yan, former director of the Institute of Political Science at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the government’s efforts in strengthening and upholding the rule of law, as seen in the recent anti-corruption campaigns, raises hope that the Tiananmen incident could be revisited.

Yan was one of former Premier Zhao Ziyang’s advisors on Chinese political reform and witnessed the Tiananmen student movement in late spring 25 years ago. He fled into exile after the military crackdown on June 4, 1989, as he had actively supported the protestors.

“I wish [the central government led by] Xi can redress the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in the near future and under appropriate conditions,” Yan was quoted as saying in a TVB report Monday. Living in exile for about 25 years in the United States, Yan is still optimistic about a redress, the report said.

While the politically sensitive date draws near, routine clampdowns are in place in Beijing to “maintain stability”.

According to the microblog account of Beijing’s subway operator, Exits A1 and A2 of Muxidi station on Line 1 will be temporally closed after 5.30 pm Tuesday until further notice.

The move may be aimed at stopping memorial events initiated by Tiananmen Mothers, a group co-founded by Ding Zilin in 1989 for relatives of those who died in the military crackdown, said political activist Hu Jia on his twitter page. A lot of people, including Ding’s 17-year-old son, died in the intense conflict between protests and the security forces on June 3 to 4 that year in places near the present Muxidi station.

Ding hopes that Beijing will one day build a memorial for the victims of the Tiananmen crackdown, with names of all the victims carved on a monument, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday. Although the 78-year-old lady may not have much time to see her dream come true in Beijing, groups in Hong Kong have launched a permanent “June 4th Museum” in Tsim Sha Tsui in late April.

The museum sponsor, Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASPDMC), is also the organizer of the city’s annual 4 June vigil for the victims.

HKASPDMC chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said more citizens may join this year’s vigil on Wednesday.

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