21:54 GMT13 June 2021
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    In an interview with CBS News on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of acting more aggressively abroad, among other things.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry has lashed out at US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over comments he made in connection with the anniversary of the 1989 events in Tiananmen Square.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday that Beijing rejects Blinken's comments as interference in China's internal affairs.

    Wang’s remarks came after Blinken tweeted that "June 4 is the 32nd anniversary of the PRC [People’s Republic of China]'s deadly crackdown in Tiananmen Square, killing thousands of protesters simply calling for their rights and freedoms to be respected".

    According to Blinken, "human rights are universal, and all governments must protect and promote them”.

    On 4 June 1989, student protests held in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in favour of democratic reforms were violently dispersed by the Chinese Army, leaving over 200 dead and hundreds more injured, according to official estimates.

    University students observe a minute of silence in front of the “Pillar of Shame” statue at the University of Hong Kong on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021
    © REUTERS / LAM YIK
    University students observe a minute of silence in front of the “Pillar of Shame” statue at the University of Hong Kong on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021

    Earlier this week, Blinken said in an interview with CBS News that the US doesn't "have the luxury of not dealing with China".

    He added that "there are real complexities to the relationship, whether it's the adversarial piece, whether it's the competitive piece, whether it's the cooperative piece".

    When asked about the possibility of a military confrontation with China, the secretary of state stressed that it is not in the interests of either Washington or Beijing.

    Sino-American relations have of late been marred by a bilateral tariff war and tensions surrounding tech giants Huawei and ZTE, with the former Trump administration repeatedly accusing the companies of cooperating with Chinese intelligence to help Beijing spy, allegations Chinese authorities and the companies themselves vehemently deny.

    Things have shown no sign of improving since Joe Biden assumed office, with the US Commerce Department announcing last month that seven Chinese supercomputing companies were "destabilising military modernisation efforts" and adding them to the "Entity List for conducting activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States".

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    interference, crackdown, events, Tiananmen Square, Twitter, Antony Blinken, China, US
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