Pelosi Statement Marking 32 Years Since Tiananmen Square Massacre

June 3, 2021
Press Release

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement marking 32 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre:

“June 4 is a date that is, and must always be, seared into the consciousness of all freedom-loving people.  Thirty-two years ago, students, workers and citizens peacefully took to the streets to demand their liberties from an oppressive Chinese regime: one of the greatest acts of political courage in modern times.  Beijing’s horrific massacre of these heroes, their own citizens, crushed the protest but could not extinguish the flame of freedom that burned in their hearts – which, today, we must keep alive.

“While China has changed over the past generation, its government’s appalling human rights record has not.  The international community must continue to speak out strongly, with one voice, in defense of all persecuted by Beijing: the Tibetans, whose religion, culture and language Beijing is brutally trying to erase; the people of Hong Kong, whose basic rights are crushed daily; the Uyghurs, subject to a campaign of genocide; and the countless innocent human rights activists languishing in prison cells on the mainland.  

“The Chinese government’s record of accelerating human rights abuses is why I continue to call for a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games from Beijing.  The world cannot proceed as if there is nothing wrong with holding the Olympics in a country perpetrating genocide and committing mass human rights violations.  Silence on this issue enables China’s abuses.

“The U.S. Congress has and will continue our decades-long bipartisan and bicameral commitment to holding the Chinese government accountable.  Over the past two years, we have passed and had signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, the Tibetan Policy and Support Act and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.  And in this Congress, we passed a resolution condemning the continued violation of rights of Hong Kong by Beijing and the Government of Hong Kong, reintroduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and soon will take up other legislation including the Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act.  It is also essential that action is taken to combat Beijing’s harassment and singling out of American citizens who speak out for the rights of friends, family and all those oppressed.

“In 1991, I stood in Tiananmen Square and unfurled a black-and-white banner reading: ‘To those who died for democracy.’  Today and on all days, we must honor those who died for democracy, and we must defend those who fight for democracy and human rights in our time.  If we do not speak out for human rights in China because of economic concerns, then we lose the moral authority to talk about human rights in any other place in the world.”