In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of people marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown when the Chinese Communist Party sent in the army to crush pro-democracy protesters, killing hundreds, possibly thousands.
Security was tight on Wednesday around Tiananmen Square and Beijing was in virtual lockdown. Thousands of activists have been detained and censors have been working overtime to erase any mentions of June 4 from the Internet or social networks.
NBC News visited Wu'er Kaixi, a prominent student leader in 1989, now living in exile in Taiwan, who says that China is trying to erase the Tiananmen Square massacre from history. He says that sooner or later they will have to confront what he calls the lie they have tried to maintain for 25 years.
In Beijing's gigantic National Museum, you will find the cowboy hat of former communist leader Deng Xiaoping, but no mention of the crackdown he ordered. The only museum dedicated to June 4 is in Hong Kong, which still has a high degree of autonomy, and where democracy advocate Lee Cheuk-Yan said they have a responsibility to tell the truth.
First published June 4 2014, 1:19 PM
Ian Williams is a correspondent based in Bangkok, Thailand. Originally from Liverpool in the U.K., Williams has been with NBC News since 2006.
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He covers news from China and across Asia, having recently reported on the typhoon in the Philippines, tensions on the Korean peninsula and the flight to Hong Kong of Edward Snowden.
Williams was formerly with the British broadcaster ITN, where he worked as Channel 4 News' Moscow correspondent and Asia correspondent based in Hong Kong and Bangkok. He also was a business correspondent for London's Sunday Times newspaper.