The state-backed Global Times on Monday defended Beijing's handling of the 1989 pro-democracy protests, saying its response "immunised" China against turmoil.
In a rare editorial about the crackdown on the eve of its 30th anniversary, the Global Times' English-language edition hailed the central government's handling of what it called the "incident" in a piece titled: "June 4 immunised China against turmoil".
"As a vaccination for the Chinese society, the Tiananmen incident will greatly increase China's immunity against any major political turmoil in the future," wrote the nationalist tabloid, which is affiliated to the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily.
The paper echoed comments by Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe who defended the bloody crackdown as the "correct policy" at a regional security forum in Singapore on Sunday.
It is rare for mainland officials or media to publicly discuss the strictly taboo topic. Authorities have detained activists and tightened online censorship ahead of the anniversary.
The party's "control of the incident" in 1989 has been a "watershed" that marked the difference between China's rapid economic progress and the fate of other Communist countries such as the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia that disintegrated, the Global Times said.
The editorial – which only appeared in the English-language print edition of the paper – also rebuked dissidents, Western politicians and media, saying their criticism of the event would have "no real impact" on Chinese society.
The Global Times said today's China with its growing wealth has "no political conditions" that could reignite "the riots" seen three decades ago.
"Chinese society, including its political elite, is now far more mature than in 1989."
Hundreds or by some estimates thousands of unarmed civilians were killed when troops and tanks were deployed to extinguish the pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing on June 4, 1989. (AFP)
Tiananmen 'immunised China against turmoil': media
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