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China Rejects U.S. Criticism On Tiananmen Annniversary


A policeman stands guard in Tiananmen Square (file photo)
China's Foreign Ministry has expressed "strong dissatisfaction" over a call by the United States for Chinese authorities to free all people still imprisoned over the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests 23 years ago.

The human rights group the Dui Hua Foundation says less than a dozen activists are believed to be still in jail over the 1989 events.

In a statement on the eve of the June 4 anniversary of the crackdown by the military against the Tiananmen demonstrators, the U.S. State Department called on China to "provide a full public accounting of those killed, detained, or missing."

Hundreds of civilians were killed when soldiers stormed the square in central Beijing to end six weeks of pro-democracy protests.

Beijing officially describes the Tiananmen events as a "counterrevolutionary rebellion."

Meanwhile, the French AFP news agency reported that about 20 human rights activists were beaten up by police in the southeast province of Fujian on the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.

Fujian police denied the allegation.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa