The Communist Party of China has again defended the Tiananmen massacre, this time after the death of former premier Li Peng who led the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters 30 years ago.
Li Peng known in the West as the ‘Butcher of Beijing’ died at the age of 90 due to illness late on Monday.
Paying glowing tributes to the late leader, China’s news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday that Li took decisive steps to stop the riots and suppress the counter-revolutionary insurgency on June 4, 1989.
The crackdown brought the situation under control and played an important role in the future of the party and the country, the agency said.
Xinhua said Li dedicated his life for the communist cause.
It called him a seasoned and loyal soldier of Communism, a distinguished revolutionary and statesman, and an outstanding leader of the party and country.
His revolutionary spirit, moral character and leadership style continue to inspire people to rally behind the party’s central committee led by President Xi Jinping, Xinhua said.
Li was behind the Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River which became operational in 1994.
Although the project was an engineering marvel, it displaced some 1.3 million people due to its massive reservoir.
Li served as prime minister between 1988 and 1998 before becoming chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament in 1998.