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June 27, 2017

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HK pro-China politician condemns Tiananmen actions

HONG KONG — A leading pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong condemned China's crackdown on the 1989 student protests at Tiananmen Square — a rare departure from the central government's official stance, local newspapers reported Wednesday.

Tsang Yok-sing, who serves as president of Hong Kong's legislature, said the Chinese government's violent response to the pro-democracy protests on June 4, 1989, was wrong.

"Suppressing students was surely wrong," Tsang told Hong Kong university students, the South China Morning Post reported.

Tsang's party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, is seen as a staunch ally of Beijing and rarely criticizes the central government.

Tsang said he would not seek discussions now in China about the crackdown, which he said was not currently in the country's interest, but that he believed the issue eventually would be addressed by Chinese society.

"China is moving toward an open and democratic society. A democratic and civilized society will do final justice to June 4," Tsang said.

Journalists, activists and other witnesses have said hundreds, maybe thousands, died in the violence. The Communist government has officially classified the seven-week demonstrations as a counterrevolutionary riot and has never made a full disclosure about the events.

Beijing has rejected calls by dissidents and others to revisit the Tiananmen issue.

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