The US government has issued a statement harshly criticizing China over what Washington calls "the Tiananmen Square massacre" in 1989.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on Thursday, on the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing.
Blinken said the tens of thousands of individuals who assembled in the square only wanted the Chinese government to recognize and respect their human rights, but the authorities responded with violence.
He wrote, "The courage of the brave individuals who stood shoulder-to-shoulder on June 4 reminds us that we must never stop seeking transparency on the events of that day, including a full accounting of all those killed, detained, or missing."
Blinken added, "The Tiananmen demonstrations are echoed in the struggle for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong, where a planned vigil to commemorate the massacre in Tiananmen Square was banned by local authorities."
He also said, "The United States will continue to stand with the people of China as they demand that their government respect universal human rights. We honor the sacrifices of those killed 32 years ago, and the brave activists who carry on their efforts today in the face of ongoing government repression."
This is the first statement on the Tiananmen Square incident to be issued by President Joe Biden's administration. Preceding US governments have also denounced Beijing on the anniversary.