Beijing - China stepped up security around Tiananmen Square in central Beijing on Tuesday, as its embassy in Washington criticized the top US diplomat for his statement on its bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests at the square 30 years ago.
Extra checkpoints and street closures greeted tourists who showed up before 5 a.m. to watch the daily flag-raising ceremony at the square. An honor guard marched across a barricaded road and raised the Chinese flag as the national anthem played.
The tight security served as a reminder of the government's attempts to quash any memories of the crackdown on the night of June 3-4, 1989, that is believed to have killed hundreds and possibly thousands of people.
For many Chinese, the 30th anniversary of the crackdown will pass like any other day. Any commemoration of the event is not allowed in mainland China, and the government has blocked access to information about it on the internet.
A half-dozen activists could not be reached by phone or text. One who could, Beijing-based Hu Jia, said he had been taken by security agents to the northeastern coastal city of Qinghuangdao on May 30.