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Taiwan calls on China to apologise for Tiananmen incident, Beijing cries ‘nonsense’

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TAIPEI: Taiwan called on China on Wednesday (Jun 3) to apologise for the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square incident on demonstrators in Beijing, a call dismissed as "nonsense" by China's foreign ministry.

Thursday marks 31 years since Chinese troops opened fire to end the student-led unrest in and around the square. Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland.

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The government has never released a full death toll, but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.

The government of Chinese-claimed Taiwan, in a statement on the anniversary's eve, said Beijing should face up to the people's expectations for freedom and democracy and begin political reform.

China should "reassess the historical facts about the Jun 4 incident and sincerely apologise", the China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council said.

"We believe that those currently in power should have the courage to correct mistakes, immediately initiate reforms and return power to the people," it added.

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READ: Pompeo says China trying to muzzle Hong Kong by preventing Tiananmen vigil

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian rejected Taiwan's calls.

"The relevant remarks of the Taiwan authorities are totally nonsense. As to the political disturbance in the late 1980s China has drawn a clear conclusion," Zhao told a daily news briefing.

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