June 04, 2020

Risch, Menendez Lead SFRC Members in Recognizing Tiananmen Square Anniversary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today led a bipartisan group of Senate Foreign Relations Committee members in recognizing the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Senators Risch and Menendez were joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

“Thirty-one years ago, pro-democracy protests drew hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens to Tiananmen Square. These protestors – many of whom were students and young professionals – risked their lives in the hope of living in a free China. Instead, they were met with the brutality of the People’s Liberation Army. We honor today all of these brave citizens of China, and remember those who tragically lost their lives on this day in 1989.

“Unfortunately, in the years since the Tiananmen massacre, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued down a path of repression. Under Chairman Xi, we have seen further deterioration of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the rule of law in China. Daily freedoms have also been lost to the CCP’s widespread and intrusive mass surveillance system. Even more concerning is that this model of authoritarianism is becoming more influential to regimes around the world as the CCP seeks to reshape international rules and norms to accommodate its interests.

“Just last week, the CCP passed a proposal for a so-called “national security” law for Hong Kong, which undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy, encourages the crackdown on pro-democracy protestors, and effectively ends its “one country, two systems” policy. This is just the latest indication of the CCP’s post-Tiananmen dedication to rule by fear.

“As we remember the events of Tiananmen and those that lost their lives on this day, let us view this solemn anniversary as not just a time for mourning, but a call to action. Let us ensure that the United States remains a champion for freedom, and a defender of those who stand for democracy, freedom and equality for all.”

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