Chairman Schiff Statement on Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre
Washington, June 4, 2020
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“Thirty-one years ago, tanks rolled into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and troops opened fire on peaceful protestors, killing countless individuals, and extinguishing the dreams of millions more yearning for a better future. The Chinese Communist Party has yet to account for their murders, and continues to censor discussion and images of the tragedy, an enduring symbol of their authoritarian rule, to this day. As Beijing’s security apparatus continues to expand its autocratic reach, this year will be first time that Hong Kongers are denied their right to legally gather and hold their annual June 4 vigil commemorating the massacre.
“While we pause to remember the innocent lives lost and demand that the Chinese government reckon with its state-sanctioned violence, we must acknowledge that America’s moral authority to denounce these crimes relies upon our setting an example here at home. The right to peacefully assemble is a cornerstone of our democracy, enshrined in our Constitution and extolled to nations across the globe.
“But when our police attack peaceful protestors fighting for a more just society with tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bang grenades, we not only violate American values, but we also we lose our credibility when advocating for human rights and democratic freedoms abroad. Indeed, the Chinese state media has sought to capitalize on images of police brutality in the United States, highlighting the hypocrisy in the Trump Administration’s policy supporting greater freedoms within China and Hong Kong while failing to adhere to these own values at home.
“America has always lit the beacon for others to follow. But the United States cannot credibly serve as the preeminent example of democracy, freedom, and liberty for the world until it is accountable for building a more just society at home. As we commemorate those who lost their lives at Tiananmen Square, let us honor their memories by building a more democratic and equitable society at home and abroad.”