When Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo dedicated his award to the “Tiananmen martyrs”, he reminded the world of the thousands who suffered death, injury or imprisonment after the brutal military crackdown on Chinese democracy protesters in 1989.
“I was very moved by these words,” Beijing-based democracy activist Qi Zhiyong told DPA on Tuesday.
“It shows that Liu Xiaobo has not forgotten the June 4 bloodshed,” said Qi.
Liu's dedication of the Nobel Peace Prize to the 1989 democracy protesters would “encourage freedom and democracy” in China, said 53-year-old Qi, who, along with many other activists, has been kept under virtual house arrest since the prize was announced Friday.
Tens of thousands of protesters had occupied Tiananmen Square for seven weeks in the spring of 1989, as the rest of the world watched to see how the ruling Communist Party would handle the biggest open challenge to its rule since it founded the People's Republic in 1949.
The military crackdown reportedly left hundreds of protesters dead and thousands wounded.
Xu Yuyou, a Beijing-based philosophy professor who was also in Tiananmen Square in 1989, said the action of Liu and several others who persuaded protesters to leave Tiananmen Square before the troops arrived had “saved the lives of several hundred students”.