Families of Tiananmen Victims Urge China's Xi to 'Re-Evaluate' Crackdown

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Mr Pompeo made the comments on the 29th anniversary of the brutal crackdown of demonstrators in central Beijing, an incident which remains taboo in China.

The think tank will be a platform to advocate changes in China toward democracy, through engaging with and influencing overseas Chinese students, especially those in America, according to its website.

A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Cangan Boulevard in Tiananmen Square, June 5, 1989.

Mr Pompeo quoted the dissident Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace laureate who died of cancer while in custody previous year, as saying: "The ghosts of June 4th have not yet been laid to rest".

The authoritarian Communist Party rulers in Beijing insist that Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are part of a single Chinese nation and have vowed to take control of the island by force if necessary.

On Sunday, Pompeo called on China to "make a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing" during the 1989 protests in Beijing, as well as to release everyone detained and stop the "harassment" of people who participated in the demonstrations and their family.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged China to disclose the details of people killed, detained or missing during the Chinese military's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters centred on Beijing's Tiananmen Square 29 years ago.

"We join others in the worldwide community in urging the Chinese government to make a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing", he added.

She said China has lodged an official diplomatic protest with the US.

"We have already made representation to the USA side", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing.

While mainland Chinese are only dimly aware of what happened at Tiananmen Square almost three decades ago, the subject is openly discussed in Taiwan, a self-governing island democracy.

However, Hu Xijin, editor of nationalistic tabloid the Global Times, called Pompeo's statement a "meaningless stunt" that "represents a wish of the Western world to meddle in China' political process".

The Communist party of China does not mention the incident in Tiananmen to "help Chinese society move forward".

"But the social energy that accumulated as a result of these past events finally propelled political reform and thorough democratization of Taiwan", said the president.

The semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong is the only place on Chinese soil where the anniversary is openly marked with a famous vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 each year.

Mr Pompeo's statement is "groundlessly accusing the Chinese government and interfering in China's internal affairs".