As the world readies to commemorate the Tiananmen protests in Beijing 30 years ago, China defended the bloody crackdown on student protesters in a rare public acknowledgement of the event, days before its anniversary, saying it was the “correct” policy.
It is rare for Chinese government officials to acknowledge the events of June 4, 1989; references to it are heavily censored in China.
Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe dismissed criticism that the incident was not handled properly as he addressed a a regional security forum in Singapore on Sunday.
Wei asked why people still say China “did not handle the incident properly”.
“The 30 years have proven that China has undergone major changes,” he said, adding that because of the government’s action at that time “China has enjoyed stability and development”.
Inside China an army of online censors has scrubbed clean social media, removing articles, memes, hashtags or photos alluding to the Tiananmen crackdown.
Discussions of the 1989 pro-democracy protests and their brutal suppression are strictly taboo, and authorities have rounded up or warned activists, lawyers and journalists ahead of the anniversary each year.