June 4, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement marking the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which occurred on June 4, 1989:
“Thirty years ago, in Tiananmen Square, the government of China brutally massacred its own people as they stood up for the dignity and human rights that they deserve. Today, we remember the courage and sacrifice of the students, workers and ordinary citizens who peacefully defied a repressive regime to demand an end to decades of persecution, oppression and harassment. While the tanks and troops crushed their protest, they could not extinguish the flame of freedom that burned in their hearts or halt the unstoppable movement for liberty and justice that they inspired.
“Three decades later, China has changed significantly in many ways, but its record of repression and persecution have not. Brave men and women are still fighting for freedom and justice just as they were 30 years ago. From the unabated disappearance, detention and surveillance of Uyghurs and the continued fight of Tibetans to practice their religion and culture to the imprisonment of countless journalists, human rights lawyers, booksellers, Christians and democracy activists, their situations continue to challenge the conscience of the world. America must demonstrate the moral courage to use our economic leverage to not only guarantee fair trade for American goods, but also to advance human rights in China. If we do not, then we will lose the moral authority to talk about human rights in any other place in the world.
“On this solemn anniversary, we honor the fallen freedom fighters and all who work to advance their legacy today. We will continue to write and speak of the heroism of the Tiananmen generation, and we will never allow their dreams and aspirations to be forgotten. Thirty years later, the enduring image of a lone man standing down a line of Chinese tanks remains seared into our collective memory, compelling us all to continue our work to build a brighter, more just and equal future for the people of China and all humanity.”