China must ‘sincerely repent’, says Taiwan, Latest World News - The New Paper

China must ‘sincerely repent’, says Taiwan

This article is more than 12 months old

State-run newspaper says crackdown 'immunised China against turmoil'

BEIJING/TAIPEI: In a rare move, the state-run nationalistic Global Times yesterday defended the Chinese government's decision to send troops and tanks into Tiananmen Square to quash a student-led pro-democracy movement three decades ago.

Its editorial, headlined "June 4 immunised China against turmoil", downplayed the incident while accusing dissidents, and Western politicians and media, of stirring up public opinion and attacking China.

It was published only on the website of its English-language edition.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the violent crackdown by Chinese troops on the student-led unrest.

Chinese authorities have banned any public commemoration of the event on the mainland and have never released a full death toll.

Estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.

Stressing that the June 4 events had "immunised China against turmoil", the editorial said: "Merely afflicting China once, the incident has not become a long-term nightmare for the country."

The Global Times, which is published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, added: "It has become a faded historical event, rather than an actual entanglement."

Referring to outside criticism, it added: "All these noises will have no real impact on Chinese society. The actions of the external forces are completely in vain."

It also labelled the intellectuals involved in the protests as lacking in maturity and driven by idealism.

"Having become politically mature, we now understand the significance of the country's continuous development through evolutions instead of revolutions," the editorial said .

In a statement likely to infuriate China, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said: "China has to sincerely repent for the June 4 incident and proactively push for democratic reforms."

The council accused Beijing of telling lies to cover up the events of 1989 and distorting the truth, Reuters reported.

Taiwan tends to use the Tiananmen Square anniversary to criticise China and call for it to face up to what it did.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the incident was a "historic turning point" for China, which had since taken a different path for democratic development.