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Chen Xitong is the former Beijing mayor whose report in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square crackdown formed the Communist Party’s justification for the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.
Shortly after Chinese troops stormed into Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, Chen Xitong, former Beijing mayor, described street demonstrations by millions of people in Beijing and other Chinese cities as an American-backed conspiracy orchestrated by a “tiny handful of people." In a report in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests, Chen Xitong hailed the crackdown as “correct” and unavoidable. Mike Fiala/AFP/Getty images