China on Sunday defended its policy during the Tiananmen protests in a rare public acknowledgement of the event, days before its 30th anniversary, saying it was the correct policy.
After seven weeks of protests by students and workers demanding democratic change and the end of corruption, soldiers and tanks chased demonstrators and onlookers in the streets leading to Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Jun 4, 1989.
Reports suggested hundreds of deaths in the incident, although the precise number remains unknown.
That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence which is a correct policy, Chinese defense minister General Wei Fenghe told a regional security forum in Singapore.
Wei asked why people still say that 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 have scrubbed clean social media, removing articles, memes, hash-tags or photos alluding to the Tiananmen protests.
Discussions of the 1989 pro-democracy protests and their reported suppression are strictly taboo, and authorities have rounded up or warned activists, lawyers and journalists ahead of the anniversary each year.
Talking privately with family and friends about Tiananmen is possible, but any commemoration in public risks almost certain arrest.
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