China has defended the crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in a rare public acknowledgement of events.
Defence Minister Wei Fenghe told reporters 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 3-4 June.
“That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence which is a correct policy,” General Wei Fenghe told a regional security forum in Singapore.
“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”.
The Chinese government has never said how many protesters were killed, although estimates range from the hundreds to thousands.