AP PHOTOS: How Hong Kong supported, and remembers, Tiananmen

June 4, 2019
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In this photo taken on July 4, 1989, a child wearing a mourning armband shouts anti-Beijing slogans against the June 4 Beijing crackdown on pro-democracy protesters during a demonstration by thousands in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG (AP) — As pro-democracy protests took hold in China in 1989, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of neighboring Hong Kong to show their support.

Associated Press photographer Vincent Yu, just starting his career at the news service, covered the Hong Kong demonstrations, which continued even after a June 3-4 military crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square ended the student-led protests in mainland China.

His images are preserved in black and white prints with typed captions attached, the way he transmitted the photos to AP editors in Tokyo in the pre-internet era. The shots are raucous in the early days, when protesters shouted slogans denouncing hard-line Chinese leaders, and tearful at the end, when they remembered those who had been killed.

Today, with any marking of the Tiananmen crackdown banned in mainland China, it is in Hong Kong where the victims are remembered in an annual candlelight vigil. Citizens of the former British colony, which was returned to China in 1997, have more freedom than mainland Chinese, though some worry those liberties are being eroded.

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