HONG KONG The head of Hong Kong's largest pro-China political party, widely criticized for comments appearing to play down the events of June 4, 1989, in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, died on Wednesday, a party spokesman said.
Ma Lik, head of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), told reporters in May that the 1989 crackdown, in which troops crushed pro-democracy protests with huge loss of life, "wasn't a massacre".
Ma later admitted he had been rash in his comments, his party apologized and said he had acted inappropriately.
Ma, 55, who had been diagnosed with colon cancer, died in a hospital in south China.
Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Annual vigils remembering the victims of June 4 are held in the territory every year.