Li Peng died on Monday night in Beijing of an unspecified sickness.
He worked in several top positions in China in the 1980s and 1990s.
However, he was best generally known as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his position within the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989. Soldiers killed thousands of unarmed civilians.
Li later defended his actions as a “crucial” step.
In its announcement, the official Xinhua information company says Li “took decisive measures to cease the unrest and quell counter-revolutionary violence” through the Tiananmen protests.
China has constantly censored the massacre for the last three decades and avoids making reference to any atrocities that occurred throughout it.
Wu’er Kaixi, one of the leaders, now living in refugee, instructed the BBC he was glad Li Peng had died. Those that lost family members in June 1989 have been still ready for justice, he stated.
“Li Peng was the slaughter of the 4 June massacre, and that is how he needs to be remembered, by the world, and by historical past. Hopefully someday, by the textbook of China.”
Pro-democracy protesters filled Tiananmen Square in April 1989 and started the most important political demonstrations in communist China’s historical past. They lasted six weeks.
At the night of 3 June tanks moved in and troops opened fire, killing and injuring many unarmed people in and around Tiananmen Square.
Afterward, the authorities stated no-one had been shot dead within the square itself.