June 4 (UPI) -- Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Tuesday for the lone memorial in China commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Hong Kong's Victoria Park was the only place throughout China to hold a public ceremony on the 30th anniversary of the June 4, 1989, massacre. Chinese troops fired on civilians during pro-democracy protests, killing hundreds. There ceremony included a 2-hour memorial and candlelight vigil.
"The grief threatened to crush us," said Zhang Xianling, a member of Tiananmen Mothers, a group for people whose children died in the massacre. "But it has now been transformed into our motivation to fight for justice."
China's government says between 200 and 300 people died, but British diplomatic cables unsealed in 2017 provided a minimum estimate of 10,000 civilian deaths.
Searches for keywords including "Tiananmen," "incident," or references to the date of the massacre on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo showed no results and multiple other media sharing platforms scheduled various forms of maintenance during the anniversary, NBC News reported.
China's government has historically refused to state publicly that it was involved in any wrongdoing in the incident, as China's defense minister, Gen. Wei Fenghe, said the military action was necessary to "stop turbulence."
"How can we say that China didn't handle that Tiananmen incident appropriately?" he said in Singapore last weekend.