The eldest daughter of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (
Speaking on a Hong Kong radio program, Deng Lin argued that China would have "descended into chaos" if it had not been for the crackdown in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of students were killed by troops.
She said the decision to order what has become known as the Tiananmen Square massacre was not her father's alone but "a collective one taken by state leaders."
Deng's remarks follow a long-running controversy in Hong Kong over comments by the leader of a pro-China political party that the 1989 killings should not be referred to as a massacre.
Ma Lik's (
An estimated 55,000 people took part in the June 4 vigil in Hong Kong, the only place on Chinese soil that the killings are publicly commemorated.
Pro-democracy activists are planning protests for the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty on July 1.