HONG KONG (New York Times) — For years, Hui King-to has taken part in the solemn candlelight vigil in Victoria Park here commemorating those who died during the Chinese government’s suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 1989.
But this year, Mr. Hui, a 20-year-old student, stayed away, along with many others. And a student group that has been one of the mainstays of the annual vigil pulled out this year after a quarter-century of support.
Such a response by young Hong Kong residents should be music to the ears of China’s leaders in Beijing, who for decades have worked to airbrush the events of 1989 from the nation’s collective memory, banishing any mention of June 4 from the Internet, classrooms and history books.
One place on Chinese soil where that has been impossible is Hong Kong, whose people enjoy civil liberties denied to mainland Chinese under the agreement that returned the former British colony to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Albert Ho, a Democratic Party lawmaker, announced to the crowd Thursday night that 135,000 people were there, an estimate that represents a drop from the 180,000 that organizers said took part last year.