Tensions between the United States and China are currently high, primarily due to China’s discontent with America’s association with Taiwan. Meanwhile, the US has criticized the Chinese government on various issues, including the theft of intellectual property from American companies, spying activities in cities like New York, the genocide of ethnic Uyghurs, and other concerns. In an act of provocation towards Chinese diplomats in Washington DC, a congressman from Tennessee, Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN), has proposed a bill to alter the name of the street in front of the Chinese Embassy. The current name of the road is International Place Northwest, but the bill suggests renaming it to Tiananmen Square Memorial Boulevard. Additionally, the bill states that once the street name is changed, it will be updated on maps, regulations, documents, and any other records referring to that location.
Furthermore, as part of the proposed changes, not only would the name of the street in front of the Chinese Embassy be modified to Tiananmen Square Memorial Boulevard, but the actual address of the embassy itself would also be altered. Currently known as 3505 International Place Northwest, it would be transformed into 1 Tiananmen Square Memorial Boulevard.
On June 7th, Rep. Andy Ogles proposed in the House to rename the road outside the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. to Tiananmen Square Memorial Boulevard. On June 4th, 1989, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the CCP murdered tens of thousands of Chinese people who demanded… pic.twitter.com/IpJM9TucMT— Ava (@S7gril) June 9, 2023
The proposed changes regarding the street name and embassy address are directly connected to the tragic event known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989. This incident unfolded when students initiated protests advocating for democracy in response to government restrictions on freedom of speech and the implementation of policies favoring the wealthy. The students’ demands encompassed press freedom, freedom of expression, and the ability to participate in their government.
Approximately a month and a half after the demonstrations commenced, on June 4, the Chinese government forcefully cracked down on the protestors. One notable image from June 5, 1989, captured a courageous individual obstructing the progress of four tanks as they advanced through the square.
Within China, all references to Tiananmen Square have been heavily censored. Due to the lack of an official death toll, it remains impossible to determine the exact number of lives lost during the massacre. Estimates range from several hundred to over 10,000 casualties.