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US seeks China accounting on Tiananmen crackdown


The United States urged China's new leadership Friday to provide a full accounting of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, days ahead of the anniversary of the deaths.

"The 24th anniversary of the violent suppression of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square on June 4 prompts the United States to remember this tragic loss of innocent lives," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Troops killed hundreds of protesters labeled as "counter-revolutionary" during the pro-democracy protests in Beijing.

"We renew our call for the Chinese government to end harassment of those who participated in the protests and fully account for those killed, detained or missing," Psaki added.

"We renew our call for China to protect the universal human rights of all its citizens; release those who have been wrongfully detained, prosecuted, incarcerated, forcibly disappeared or placed under house arrest; and end the ongoing harassment of human rights activists and their families."

China's government has so far provided no official toll for the repression, which was condemned throughout the world and led to the temporary isolation of Beijing on the international stage.

Unofficial estimates of the numbers killed range from around 200 to more than 3,000.