China minister defends 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdowntext_fields
Beijing: China has defended the crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in a rare public acknowledgement of events, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the pro-democracy demonstrations.
Defence Minister Wei Fenghe told a regional forum that stopping the "turbulence" was the "correct" policy.
In spring 1989, students and workers occupied Beijing's Tiananmen Square in a massive pro-democracy protest. Many were killed in a brutal clampdown by the communist authorities.
Reporting on the events is heavily censored in China.
Tuesday marks 30 years since six weeks of demonstrations ended with the Beijing massacre of June 3-4.
Public discussions of the 1989 pro-democracy protests and their suppression are strictly taboo in China.
But after a wide-ranging speech about trade and security at a regional forum in Singapore, General Wei Fenghe was asked about Tiananmen by a member of the audience, the BBC reported.
Wei questioned why people still said China had not handled the events properly.
"That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence, which is a correct policy," he told the forum.
"The past 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".
His remarks came after Twitter issued an apology for suspending a number of accounts posting about China ahead of the Tiananmen Square anniversary.
A tweet on their public policy account said the company was working to challenge accounts that engage in "platform manipulation, including spam and other inauthentic behaviours".
"Sometimes our routine actions catch false positives or we make errors," the tweet read, adding that Twitter was trying to correct the mistakes.
Users had criticised the platform for blocking the accounts, using the hashtag #TwitterMassacre.
US Republican Senator Marco Rubio accused the company of becoming a Chinese government censor.