On the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Chinese state-run media outlet Global Times issued an editorial note stating that they were "laughing" at those "posturing 'commemorative' activities and political stunts orchestrated by outside forces."
On June 4, 1989, the spring protests of university students and others in China for political and economic reform came to a violent climax when tanks and heavily armed troops advanced towards Tiananmen Square, shooting or crushing protestors that got in their way. Chinese government statistics place the death toll at 241 (including soldiers), with an additional 7,000 wounded. Other estimates place both counts as being much higher.
The editorial piece slammed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for his "vicious" definition of the event in a statement he released Thursday, and condemned his statement that the US will "stand with the people of China."
"However, when Washington claims it stands with the people of a country or region, it means that those people should stand with the US, fight for the US and Western interests in places beyond the reach of US power and be willing to sacrifice," wrote the Global Times. "The Chinese people have already seen through such US' trick."
"If the incident 32 years ago has any positive effect, that is, it has inoculated the Chinese people with a political vaccine, helping us acquire immunity from being seriously misled," the publication continued.
The editorial writers spoke on China's fight against "westernization," saying that at the time of the massacre, "Chinese society at that time lacked experience and some intellectuals began to blindly follow Western values, with a group even advocating a thorough Westernization as the ultimate goal of the reforms. Social turbulence took place in such a context and went to extreme under the inducement and manipulation of some political forces."
"Tiananmen Square embodies the Chinese people's confidence and pride in the politics of the country, and it is a symbol of China's unity as well as the country's independence and increasing prosperity," the outlet continued. "The Chinese public's understanding of the incident 32 years ago has undergone a fundamental change. We laugh at those posturing "commemorative" activities and political stunts orchestrated by outside forces."
The Global Times editor-in-chief wrote on Twitter on Friday that "the conclusion on June 4 incident will never be reversed in Chinese history because its political outcome played a role in shaping socialist path with Chinese characteristics, which has led China to success."
"The longer the time, the more resolutely the incident will be rejected," he added.
Although events commemorating the anniversary of the massacre have been banned in mainland China, Hong Kong residents have held a vigil every year.
This year though, police cracked down on Victoria Park by blocking off the common site of these vigils. According to Yahoo News, authorities locked down the park in response to the violent pro-democracy protests Hong Kong has seen in recent years. "Activists who approached the park were stopped and searched while officers used loud hailers and signs to call for people to disperse from nearby streets," wrote Yahoo News.