fredag 4. juni 2021

Hong Kong's Tiananmen vigil always set the city apart from China. Those days may now be over

Friday marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chinese government's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around central Beijing in the early hours of June 4, 1989. For an event that happened almost 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away, the Tiananmen Square massacre has become deeply embedded in Hong Kong's psyche. That's because for the past three decades, Hong Kong was the only place where major commemorations were held, including marches, church services, and huge candlelit vigils in the city's Victoria Park.

After Hong Kong became part of China in 1997, the continuation of these events was always seen as a major litmus test for the city's ongoing autonomy and democratic freedoms, supposedly guaranteed until 2047 by its de facto constitution, the Basic Law, under the principle of "one country, two systems."