Silence and heavy state security in China on the occasion of the Tiananmen Square crackdown | National news

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BEIJING, China (AP) — Checkpoints and lines of police vehicles lined a major road leading to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as China stepped up security on the 35th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

China has long since quashed any memory of the killings when the Chinese government ordered the military to end months of protests and uphold communist rule. An estimated 180,000 troops and armed police moved in with tanks and armored vehicles and fired into the crowds as they advanced toward Tiananmen Square.

The death toll remains unknown to this day. Hundreds, if not thousands, are believed to have died in an operation that began on the night of June 3 until the following morning.

Across China, the event remains a sensitive and taboo topic that is heavily censored and any mention or reference removed on social media.

Hundreds of tourists lined the streets leading to the gates leading to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Asked by a foreign journalist to comment on the 35th anniversary during a daily Foreign Ministry briefing on Monday, spokesman Mao Ning shrugged off the event.

“The Chinese government has long ago come to a clear conclusion about the political unrest that occurred in the late 1980s,” Mao said, without elaborating.

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