His Holiness's Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square

June 3rd 2009

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square students' democracy movement, along with others who take an interest in Chinese affairs, I respectfully honour those who died expressing the popular demand for the government to be more accountable to its people.

The students involved in the Tiananmen Square movement were neither anti-communist nor anti-socialist. Their speaking out in defence of the Chinese people's constitutional rights, in favour of democracy, and taking a stand against corruption, truly conformed to the underlying beliefs of the Chinese Communist government. This was confidently stated by the then Party chief Zhao Ziyang. Therefore, the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China presents a great opportunity to review the events of June 4,1989.

Great changes have taken place in the People's Republic of China since 1989. Today, it is a global economic power poised to become a superpower. It is my hope that the Chinese leaders have the courage and far-sightedness to embrace more truly egalitarian principles and pursue a policy of greater accommodation and tolerance of diverse views. A policy of openness and realism can lead to greater trust and harmony within China and enhance its international standing as a truly great nation.



June 4, 2009


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