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Tiananmen leader vows solidarity in secret China trip

Published on Jun 10, 2014 10:26 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A top leader of the Tiananmen Square protests said he found that the movement's message resonated more than ever after he slipped into China to mark the 25th anniversary quietly.

Zhou Fengsuo had been number five on the Chinese government's wanted list as it crushed the student-led pro-democracy protests on June 3-4, 1989. Like most leaders at Tiananmen Square, he lives in exile with no prospect of returning back legally.

To his own surprise, Zhou said that he managed to return briefly for last week's anniversary of the crackdown even though China took extraordinary measures to prevent public observances. Now a US citizen, Zhou said he took advantage of China's policy of allowing 72-hour transit stops without a visa.

Zhou said he commemorated the bloodshed by driving with a friend in a loop around Tiananmen Square where he said he saw at least 10 groups of police. He resisted the temptation to carry out a public protest, knowing he would be quickly muzzled.

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