World News

FACTBOX - Sensitive anniversaries in China in 2009

(Reuters) - Protests could surround the following politically sensitive anniversaries in China this year, adding to government worries about unrest as unemployment rises:

TIBET - The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, fled into exile 50 years ago in March after an abortive Tibetan uprising. Monks’ protests that broke out across the Tibetan region and escalated into deadly riots last year could occur again around March 10, the start of the 1959 uprising.

TIANANMEN PROTESTS - Hundreds were killed when Beijing sent the military to crush student-led pro-democracy protests in and around Tiananmen Square 20 years ago this June 4. Demonstrations could be led by families of victims or intellectuals who signed “Charter 08,” a document calling for democratic reforms issued in December.

FALUN GONG - July marks 10 years since Beijing banned the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that draws on Buddhism, Taoism and traditional Chinese breathing exercises. Falun Gong has since accused Beijing of detaining and torturing tens of thousands of adherents, which China denies. Falun Gong supporters who have staged protests in China and abroad could plan demonstrations in Beijing.

NATIONAL DAY - Beijing will hold a major military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of Communist China’s founding on Oct 1. Dissidents could use the day to demonstrate for political reforms.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie