Authorities tightened security in the city Saturday and closed Tiananmen Square in an effort to head off any commemoration of last year's June 3-4 army attack on student protesters.
Also Saturday, sources in Shanghai said Wang Ruowang, a leading 71-year-old writer who participated in last year's pro-democracy protests, was arrested in September. He has not been seen in public since last summer.In Beijing, one student was seen wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the pro-democracy movement's V-for-victory symbol. But there were no other signs outwardly marking the anniversary.
"The Chinese are very practical. They're not going to do anything that clearly will fail," said a student at Beijing Normal University, which was one of the protest centers.
The government warned foreign radio stations against broadcasting a taped program made by exiled Chinese dissidents. The dissidents had planned to broadcast from a ship off China's coast, but they abandoned the project when Taiwan refused to allow the ship to load its transmitter and Japan wouldn't allow the boat into Japanese ports.
The dissidents said several foreign radio stations planned to broadcast the program to mark the anniversary.
China's official Xinhua News Agency said, "Sources here hoped organizations and countries would avoid damage to their names by having a part in the already notorious pirate broadcasting plan."
Security guards patrolled Beijing campuses, and armed sentries were posted at a major intersection next to the main foreign residential compound in Beijing.
Tiananmen (Heavenly Peace) Square, where last year's protesters had their headquarters, was turned into a carnival ground for selected grammar schoolchildren.
Paramilitary police stood guard and soldiers exercised noisily while thousands of children played games on the vast square. Some games involved maneuvering remote-control tanks through mazes, and others shooting toy rifles at targets.
The public was not allowed to enter the square, which still bears the scars of tank treads from the night of June 3-4, 1989, when soldiers retook it from protesters demanding democratic reform. Hundreds and possibly thousands of people were killed by soldiers as they marched into the city on their way to the square.
Some underground activists said they wanted to make a commemorative gesture on the square Sunday or Monday, but that it would be too dangerous.
On at least one Beijing campus, teachers were assigned to make bed checks in dormitories. At Beijing University and other schools, official dance parties were scheduled this weekend to distract students.
The only three political activists who have continued to openly criticize the government dropped out of sight Thursday and were believed in custody. They had planned to release an open letter to the government calling for the release of last year's protesters. Hundreds remain jailed.
The sources in Shanghai said Wang - a prominent writer who marched along with student protesters in that city last spring - was taken into police custody Sept. 8 after having been held under house arrest for two months.
Wang's family has not been allowed to communicate with him, and he has not been formally charged, the sources said.