Tiananmen Square Crackdown’s 35th Anniversary Has China’s Authorities on High Alert for Pro-Democracy Protests, Public Displays of Mourning

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Security officials are on high alert in Beijing near Tiananmen Square.

BEIJING — China’s authorities were on high alert in Beijing on Tuesday, the 35th anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square Incident, to prevent the public mourning of victims and pro-democratic activities.

In 1989, China’s Communist government brutally cracked down on students and other pro-democratic protesters in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing. On Tuesday morning, more than 30 police vehicles had been deployed in the square, as well as surrounding areas, and security officials were keeping an eye on passersby and cars.

Plain-clothes officers remained vigilant around a graveyard where the members of Tiananmen Mothers, a group comprising bereaved families of victims, visit to mourn every year.

With youth unemployment rate remaining high on the anniversary of the incident, the administration of President Xi Jinping has been wary that dissatisfaction will surface and renew criticism of the repression.

Authorities are also nervous because the sudden death of former Premier Li Keqiang, who was said to be at odds with Xi, last October caused an outpouring of public grief by many citizens.