Despite attempts to erase history, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US continues to promote respect for human rights whenever they are “threatened” on the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, in which the Chinese government carried out mass killings of pro-democracy demonstrators.

Blinken praised the Tiananmen Square protestors for their bravery in demanding democracy while peacefully protesting. According to the US secretary of state, there have been attempts to erase history by removing Tiananmen Square memorials. The US Secretary of State stated that the US commemorates the memories of those who died in the protests and upholds human rights, despite the fact that they are being violated and endangered by some.

Blinken took to Twitter to say, “The world has witnessed heroic demonstrators and spectators peacefully seek democracy in Tiananmen Square for 33 years. We celebrate their memory by supporting respect for human rights wherever they are challenged, despite the removal of memorials and attempts to erase history.”

The Tiananmen Square Massacre, for example, occurred in April 1989, following nonviolent protests by students, workers, and others in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and other Chinese cities, calling for freedom of expression, accountability, and an end to corruption. In late May 1989, the government declared martial law in response to the growing protests.

On June 3 and 4, soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) opened fire on peaceful demonstrators and bystanders, killing a large number of them. In response to the military’s aggression, several residents in Beijing attacked army convoys and set fire to cars.

Following the assassinations, the government launched a statewide crackdown, arresting thousands of people on charges of “counter-revolution” and other crimes like burning and disrupting social order.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Chinese authorities have increased harassment and prosecution of activists commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in the previous year. The Chinese government should accept responsibility for the mass killings of pro-democracy protesters, it added