Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago television cameras revealed to the world horrific scenes of the brutal suppression of civil and political rights on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
In the early hours of June 4, 1989 the tanks and soldiers were sent into the square by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to end a pro-democracy student protest. The protest had lasted seven weeks. Martial law had been declared on May 19 by Chinese Premier Li Peng and the troops began to arrive in the centre of the city on June 3.
Reports indicate that the first soldiers arrived in the square at 12.50 a.m. on the morning of June 4. By 4.00 a.m. the troops had crushed the protest in a bloody massacre.
We will never know how many people died that night. Estimates, however, put the number into the thousands. Remarkably, unbelievably, the government of the People's Republic of China stated that the massacre never happened.
We must resist any attempt to rewrite the history of Tiananmen Square and we must never allow the memory of those who died in the quest for democracy to be forgotten.