06/03/2019, 10.23
CHINA
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Beijing breaks silence on Tiananmen. To defend the massacre

Reports on the repression of protest demonstrations are the subject of heavy censorship in China. In the night between 3 and 4 June 1989, 300 to 2 thousand people died. The defense minister asks why people continue to say that the government has not handled the events correctly.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Chinese government has defended the crackdown on Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, in a rare public recognition of events. During a regional security forum, the Minister of Defense, Gen. Wei Fenghe (photo) said yesterday that stopping the "turbulence" was the "correct" policy for Beijing.

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the massacre. According to the estimates of independent bodies, on the night between 3 and 4 June 1989, 300 to 2 thousand people died, crushed by tanks or shot dead while fleeing.

Reports on events are heavily censored in China. For Beijing, public discussions on the democracy protests of 1989 and their repression are taboo. Every year, in the weeks leading up to June 4th, the world's largest censorship machine is set in motion: a huge network of automated algorithms and tens of thousands of officials purge the web of any reference to the massacre.

This is why Gen. Wei Fenghe’s words at the "18th Asia Security Summit" in Singapore (May 31st - June 2nd) represents an exceptional rarity.

After a wide-ranging speech on trade and security, Gen. Wei Fenghe was questioned about Tiananmen by a member of the public. The minister asked why people continue to say that China has not handled the events correctly.

"That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence, which is a correct policy," he said. The senior official then said that "the past 30 years have proven that China has undergone major changes ", adding that due to the government's action at that juncture "the country has enjoyed stability and development".

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