The Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper published a story Tuesday celebrating the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in which the Communist Party killed at least hundreds of peaceful protesters. Without it, the newspaper cited an expert as saying that communism would have “collapsed” in China.

The piece celebrates young Chinese nationalists for their steadfast loyalty to Marxism and Han ethnic supremacy, arguing that they are “thankful” to the Communist Party for growing up in a country with “stability” – that is to say, a complete lack of legal political dissent.

The Communist regime typically ignores the Tiananmen Square anniversary, but this year has instead decided to go on the defensive. China’s foreign minister claimed the killings were necessary in a public event on Sunday; publications like the Global Times and People’s Daily have published multiple articles defending the state-sponsored mass murder.

The Global Times quotes a Chinese academic identified as Zhang Weiwei as saying that, without the “tough decisions” that led to the indiscriminate killing of as many as 10,000 unarmed protesters, mostly young students, “China would have followed the way of the Soviet Union and collapsed.” Zhang claims that communism was necessary for “stability” and that China “wouldn’t have the development and achievements we gained” following the massacre without a heavy-handed approach to peaceful demonstrators.

The 1989 protests were inspired by the impending fall of the Soviet Union, just as many other movements worldwide rose up against communism. While similar protests in Eastern Europe liberated those countries, China remains one of the most repressive countries in the world today.

The Global Times celebrated on Tuesday that China is not ripe for a “Color Revolution” – a term for the rise of anti-Russian democratic leaders in Georgia and Ukraine – because the Communist Party’s indoctrination of young people is much more efficient today than in 1989.

Young Han nationalists overran Tiananmen Square by the hundreds of thousands, according to state media, on Tuesday for a flag-raising ceremony in honor of the Communist Party’s totalitarian control of the nation. One family said they came to teach their children the “historical significance of Tiananmen Square.” They did not mention the Communist Party mass murder.

Thanks to those killings, the Global Times concludes, the family “grew up in an environment without chaos or conflict, and have witnessed tremendous advances during the fastest period of development in the country’s history over the last three decades.”

“Compared with older generations, ‘the new generation under the red flag,’ or the 1990s and 2000s generation, as seen on Tiananmen Square on Tuesday, is undoubtedly more confident, optimistic, patriotic and open-minded about the outside world,” the Global Times alleged. It cited a poll by the Communist publication China Youth Daily that found nearly 90 percent of young people “approve of Marxism.”

“Chinese youth feel ‘thankful’ for the bullying and provocations from the US, as these can only make them more patriotic, more united, and also make them “more confident to push forward self-reliance innovation to make our country stronger,” the newspaper claimed.

The Global Times did not distinguish between young Chinese Marxists who support the regime and the growing number of Maoists who consider Communist Party dictator Xi Jinping a traitor to the communist cause and an enemy of the working class.

Xi has apparently instructed his regime to defend the 1989 killings rather than ignore them this year.

“That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence which is a correct policy,” Foreign Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe said during a question and answer period in Singapore on Sunday. “The 30 years have proven that China has undergone major changes China has enjoyed stability and development.”

The Global Times previously defended the killings in a column on Monday that argued they were a “vaccination for Chinese society” against democracy that will “greatly increase China’s immunity against any major political turmoil in the future.”

Leaders in the free world condemned the Chinese communists on the anniversary of the incident.

“China has to sincerely repent for the June 4 incident and proactively push for democratic reforms,” Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said in a statement on Monday, committing to “continue to point to the direction of democracy for mainland China.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement demanding China “make a full, public accounting of those killed or missing to give comfort to the many victims of this dark chapter of history.”

“Release all those held for seeking to exercise these rights and freedoms, halt the use of arbitrary detention, and reverse counterproductive policies that conflate terrorism with religious and political expression,” he urged.

The Chinese foreign ministry responded to Pompeo on Tuesday, accusing him of “randomly” judging the Communist Party.

“The great achievements we made in the past 70 years since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China have spoken volumes that we chose the right development path and it is endorsed by our people,” spokesman Geng Shuang said. “The Chinese people will continue to advance along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The estimates for the number of people killed in Tiananmen Square range from the hundreds to the thousands. A 2017 report citing secret British diplomatic cables put the number of dead at 10,000.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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