30 Years Later, China Defends Bloody Tiananmen Square Crackdown

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30 Years Later, China Defends Bloody Tiananmen Square Crackdown
China's defense minister was quoted as saying the protests were "political turbulence" and the government's decision to stop them was "correct."
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Nearly 30 years after China's violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, the country made a rare statement to defend the bloody event.

During a conference in Singapore on Sunday, China's defense minister was quoted as saying the protests were "political turbulence," and the government's decision to stop them was the "correct" move. 

In 1989, 400 cities across China saw protests against totalitarian Communist rule. And by June 4, party leaders had had enough. An estimated 300,000 soldiers broke up Beijing's protests by force, firing semi-automatic weapons into crowds and running down protesters in tanks. 

China's Red Cross said 2,600 were killed. But the government has yet to release an official death toll. In fact, it's fairly rare for China's leaders to talk about it at all.

And the government expects its citizens to do the same, especially online. Before the anniversary each year, reports out of China say Communist Party censors are tamping down on information about the massacre.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.