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Tiananmen anniversary: US urges China to free activists

Published on Jun 4, 2014 6:49 AM
Pedestrians walk past a tank replica displayed to symbolise China's June 4, 1989 Tiananmen military crackdown in Hong Kong on June 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Tuesday pressed China on human rights 25 years after the Tiananmen Square crackdown, urging the Asian power to release activists rounded up ahead of the anniversary.

At a time of growing distrust between the world's two largest economies, the United States repeated calls for Beijing to allow greater political freedoms as the communist government steps up arrests and censorship.

"We've very clearly called on the Chinese authorities to release all the activists, journalists and lawyers who have been detained ahead of the 25th anniversary," State Department spokesman Marie Harf told reporters.

"I think it's time to allow some more space, quite frankly, for discussion in their own country, particularly around this kind of anniversary," she added.

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