Increased security is likely in Beijing, China, for the 30th Tiananmen Square anniversary on June 4. Localized transport disruptions are possible.

This alert began 27 May 2019 00:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Jun 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Tiananmen Square incident anniversary
  • Location: Tiananmen Square, Beijing
  • Time Frame: Through June 4
  • Impact: Heightened security; possible transport disruptions

 

Summary

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Officials in Beijing will likely intensify security measures throughout the capital in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident on June 4. Uniformed police and plainclothes officers will probably deploy throughout the city, especially at tourist sites, markets, and popular shopping neighborhoods such as Wangfujing and Sanlitun. As the anniversary approaches, authorities may position armored vehicles and security personnel at important intersections and gathering spots. Unrest is highly unlikely during the anniversary, and authorities will quickly break up any small demonstrations if they occur.

Security will likely be most noticeable around government facilities near Tiananmen Square. Sporadic road closures and other transport disruptions are possible in central Beijing, particularly along Chang'An Road, Guangcheng East Side Road, Guangcheng West Side Road, and Qianmen Street, which surround Tiananmen Square. Tighter security checks are possible at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), as well as railway and bus stations throughout the city. Security personnel usually establish temporary security checkpoints at subway stations near Tiananmen Square; officials could restrict access to the Dongdan, Jianguomen, Qianmen, Tiananmen East, Tiananmen West, and Wangfujing subway stations without notice.

 

Background and Analysis

The Chinese Communist Party typically imposes security measures before and during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident, when the military opened fire on pro-democracy student protesters in 1989. The date is one of the most sensitive to the Chinese government, which has yet to disclose how many students died during the event. A declassified British government memo released in 2017 indicated that as many as 10,000 protesters might have been killed in the crackdown. Authorities still tightly monitor student activists and their families. The annual security measures intensified following a vehicular attack in Tiananmen Square in October 2013 that officials attributed to Uighur extremists from Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Heightened security has remained in place in recent years amid a widening campaign against dissent under President Xi Jinping.

 

Advice

Consider avoiding Tiananmen Square and surrounding areas, June 4. Allow additional time for commuting in central Beijing. Do not discuss political issues in public, including around taxi drivers or over the phone. Follow the instructions of authorities and carry identification. Avoid any protests that occur due to the potential for violence and mass arrests. Do not photograph or record any protests or security personnel, as security forces may confiscate or destroy equipment.

 

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