Ex-Beijing Mayor Backs Away from Long-Standing Account of Tiananmen Crackdown

Shortly after Chinese troops stormed into Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, the then-mayor of Beijing gave a lengthy report that, for 23 years, has formed the bedrock of the Communist Party’s justification for the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. Describing street demonstrations by millions of people in Beijing and other cities as a Western-backed conspiracy orchestrated by a “tiny handful of people,” Chen Xitong’s report hailed the crackdown as “correct” and unavoidable.