Great Britain

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait on anniversary of brutal Tiananmen Square massacre

Thursday marked the 31st anniversary of China using tanks and assault rifles to crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. As China claims the straits as its own, the move is likely to anger Beijing. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry confirmed the ship had transited the strait before heading south.

Taiwan’s armed forces described the ship as being on an “ordinary mission”.

The US Pacific Fleet identified the warship as the USS Russell on its Facebook page.

The USS Russell is a 154m long destroyer.

It has previously seen action in the South China Sea and Gulf of Oman.

uss russell

The USS Russell in Hawaii (Image: GETTY)

strait of taiwan

The Taiwan Strait (Image: GETTY)

Events to mark the events in Tiananmen Square took place in Taiwan and Chinese controlled Hong Kong, which officially operates political, economic and judicial autonomy from mainland China.

This was despite Hong Kong police previously banning plans for a vigil, citing fears over coronavirus.

Despite this, thousands gathered in Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island.

Hundreds gathered in Mong Kok in the Kowloon Peninsula for a community commemoration.

READ MORE: WHO fury: Bitter row with Taiwan over China sovereignty claim exposed

HONG KONG

A candelit vigil in Victoria Park (Image: GETTY)

The police deployed pepper spray and according to Hong Kong Free Press took away at least four people in Mong Kok.

Over 200 congregated outside Langham Place, a Mong Kok shopping mall.

They lit candles and observed a moment’s silence at 8.09pm.

It is not clear how many people died in Tiananmen Square 31 years ago.

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HONG KONG

A candlelit vigil in Victoria Park (Image: GETTY)

HONG KONG

Protests have taken place in Hong Kong over an extradition bill (Image: GETTY)

At around 9pm, some of those remaining tried to throw barricades onto Argyle Street.

Hong Kong has been rocked since last year rocked with protests over a controversial extradition bill.

The bill would have given the city’s Chief Executive the power to extradite people to nations the city did not have an extradition bill with.

us-china

US-China miltary might compared (Image: EXPRESS)

Critics were concerned the bill would put the the population at risk of political production from mainland authorities.

Though the bill was later withdrawn, protests continued over democratic freedoms.

Taiwan was founded as the Republic of China (ROC) after nationalists fled to the island after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party of China.

tsai ing-wen

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (Image: GETTY)

Both the ROC and People’s Republic of China (PRC) consider themselves to the legitimate Government of China.

The PRC considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province.

The Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen considered a declaration of independence unnecessary due to Taiwan’s de facto independence.

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