China Muzzling HK By Banning Tiananmen Vigil: Pompeo

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2020-06-02 HKT 21:03

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  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of trying to turn HongKongers into mainlanders by preventing them from marking 31 years since the Tiananmen Square crackdown. File photo: Reuters

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of trying to turn HongKongers into mainlanders by preventing them from marking 31 years since the Tiananmen Square crackdown. File photo: Reuters

The United States on Tuesday accused China of muzzling Hong Kong by preventing a vigil to mark the Tiananmen Square protests, amid a heated feud between Washington and Beijing over the city's freedoms

"If there is any doubt about Beijing's intent, it is to deny HongKongers a voice and a choice, making them the same as mainlanders. So much for two systems," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

Hong Kong authorities have effectively barred the annual commemoration of the bloody 1989 crackdown – a major gathering in contrast to the imposed silence on the mainland – by extending a ban on gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Police on Monday gave organisers formal notice that they cannot hold the annual rally at Victoria Park for the first time in over three decades.

However, the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China is still planning to show up in smaller groups of eight or under, and are asking people to commemorate the bloody crackdown all across the city.