On June 4th, the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Hong Kong commemorated the dead. Last night, I visited the park where the annual ceremony takes place – and where thousands of people carried candles in memory of the dead.
Earlier in the day, I had lunch with Jasper Tsang Yok-Sing, the leader of Hong Kong’s largest pro-Beijing party, the DAB, and the president of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. I expected him to gloss over the events of 21 years ago. But not a bit of it. He seemed eager to discuss his painful memories of that day. He was a headmaster at the time in a pro-Beijing school in Hong Kong – and every morning in the months before the killings, the teachers and school children had discussed the news of the demonstrations in Beijing. “We never believed a government we so trusted would turn its troops against the people,” he recalled. The morning of the massacre was a Sunday – but teachers and pupils had headed spontaneously for the school. “We gathered there and we all cried.” Recalling that day, 21 years on, Mr Tsang choked up, wiped away a tear and struggled to continue speaking. Eventually he just said – “It’s not easy, even now.” Read more