Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

Overview
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese (in part to avoid confusion with two prior Tiananmen Square protests), were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 in Beijing in the People's Republic of China (PRC) beginning on 15 April 1989. The protests are also known as the Tiananmen Massacre, but journalistic use of the term has waned in recent years.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Tiananmen Square protests of 1989'
Start a new discussion about 'Tiananmen Square protests of 1989'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese (in part to avoid confusion with two prior Tiananmen Square protests), were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 in Beijing in the People's Republic of China (PRC) beginning on 15 April 1989. The protests are also known as the Tiananmen Massacre, but journalistic use of the term has waned in recent years. This is because, according to James Miles, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reporter who originally covered the protests, the violence did not actually happen in Tiananmen, but outside the square in the city of Beijing. The term also gives a misleading impression that demonstrations only happened in Beijing, when in fact they occurred in many large cities throughout mainland China.

The protests were sparked by mass mourning over the death of former CPC General Secretary
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China , officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat...

 Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang was a leader of the People's Republic of China who served as both Chairman and Party General Secretary. Hu joined the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930s, and rose to prominence as a comrade of Deng Xiaoping...

, a Party official who had been purged for his support of political liberalization. By the eve of Hu's funeral, 100,000 people gathered at Tiananmen Square. Beijing students began the demonstrations to encourage continued economic reform and liberalization, and evolved into a mass movement for political reform. From Tiananmen Square they later expanded to the surrounding streets. Non-violent protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai and Wuhan. Looting and rioting occurred in various locations throughout China, including Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

 and Changsha.

The movement used mainly non-violent methods and can be considered a case of civil resistance
Civil resistance
The term civil resistance, alongside the term nonviolent resistance, is used to describe political action that relies on the use of non-violent methods by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and...

. Led mainly by students and intellectuals, the protests occurred in the year that was to see the collapse of a number of communist governments
Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries.The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and...

 in eastern Europe.

The movement lasted seven weeks after Hu's death on 15 April. Premier Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

, a hardline conservative, declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on 20 May, but no military action took place until 4 June, when the tanks and troops of the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 moved into the streets of Beijing, using live fire while proceeding to Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 to clear the area of protestors. The exact number of civilian deaths is not known, and the majority of estimates range from several hundred to thousands. There was widespread international condemnation of the government's use of force against the protesters.

No objective evidence exists to support earlier reports of mass deaths in Tiananmen Square itself, and most or all of the killings took place three miles west of the Square. Following 4 June, the government conducted widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press. The Communist Party initiated a large-scale campaign to purge officials deemed sympathetic to the protests. Several senior officials, most notably Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989....

, were placed under house arrest.

Naming of incident


In the Chinese language, the incident is most commonly known as the "" . Sometimes people call it "" . Colloquially, a simply "" is used. The nomenclature of the former is consistent with the customary names of the other two great protest actions that occurred in Tiananmen Square: the May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

 of 1919, and the April Fifth Movement of 1976.
'4 June' refers to the day on which the People's Liberation Army cleared Tiananmen Square of protesters, although the order to proceed into Tiananmen as well as its actual operation began on the evening of 3 June. Other names which have been used in the Chinese language include "" and "" . The government of the People's Republic of China
Government of the People's Republic of China
All power within the government of the People's Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the People's Republic of China, State Council, and the People's Liberation Army . This article is concerned with the formal structure of the state, its departments and their responsibilities...

 has referred to the event as the "" (Political Turmoil between Spring and Summer of 1989).

Other names, such as the "" are also used to describe the event broadly in its entirety. Alternative names such as May 35th, VIIV(Roman number for 6 and 4) and "" (Eight Squared) are used on the internet in mainland China to bypass internet censorship
Internet censorship
Internet censorship is the control or suppression of the publishing of, or access to information on the Internet. It may be carried out by governments or by private organizations either at the behest of government or on their own initiative...

.

In English, the terms Tiananmen Square Protests or Tiananmen Square Crackdown are often used to describe 4 June events. Tiananmen Square Massacre is also commonly used by the media, but journalistic use has waned in recent years. This is because, according to James Miles, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reporter who originally covered the protests, the violence did not actually happen in Tiananmen, but outside the square in the city of Beijing. The term also gives a misleading impression that demonstrations only happened in Beijing, when in fact they occurred in many large cities throughout mainland China.

Background


At the Third Plenum of the Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party in 1978, the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC) initiated a series of economic and political reforms
Four Modernizations
The Four Modernizations were goals, set forth by Zhou Enlai in 1963, to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, national defense, science and technology...

, which led to the gradual implementation of a market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 and some political liberalization that relaxed the system set up by Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

. The Chinese economic reforms were led by Zhao Ziyang, the Party's General Secretary, and they were generally successful in the early years, particularly in the rural regions. However, since political reforms were neglected, corruption and nepotism pervaded the shift toward a free-market economy. The dual-track system
Dual-track system
A dual-track system is an economic system in which the government controls key sectors of the economy, while allowing private enterprise limited control over the other sectors.-See also:Chinese Economic Reform...

, which was “the most characteristic feature of China's initial departure from the planned economy” created the “coexistence of two coordination mechanisms (state and market).”

The state-mandated pricing system, in place since the 1950s, had long kept prices stable at low levels that had, it is argued, reduced incentives to increase production. The partial reforms created a two-tier system where some prices were forced to be at low levels while others were allowed to fluctuate. In a market with chronic shortages, this allowed people with powerful connections to buy goods at low prices and sell at market prices. Also, money supply had expanded too fast. At least a third of factories were unprofitable, depending on loans and subsidies. The government tightened money supply in 1988, leaving much of the economy without loans.

Following the 1988 Beidaihe
Beidaihe
Beidaihe District is a district in Qinhuangdao municipality, Hebei province on the coast of the Bohai Sea in North China. It has an area of 70.14 square kilometers and a population of 66,000. is also known as a birding haven. The Beidaihe Beach Resort stretches 10 km from east to west, from...

 meeting, word leaked that Zhao Ziyang would listen to those members of the CPC, including Deng Xiaoping, who were urging chuangjiageguan (to get the price right in one shot) by deciding to “establish a market-regulated price system in China within five years.” Economists recommended faster reforms, for example, renowned economist Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

 gave a speech and met officials in China, recommending them to free the rest of the economy, asserting that a market economy would benefit people and it should be made free from corruption, bribes, special influence, and political mechanisms. Leaked news that there would be a relaxing of controls triggered waves of panic cash withdrawals, buying and hoarding all over China. Some even bought rooms full of matches. The decision to rescind the price reforms occurred in less than two weeks, “but its impact continued to reverberate for a long time...[and] [a]s a consequence, inflation soared.” In the late 1980s, inflation was the most pronounced issue facing the Chinese economy, which was at 7.3% in 1987, but jumped to 18.5% in 1988. Compounding this was the loss of job security (the iron rice bowl
Iron rice bowl
"Iron rice bowl" is a Chinese term used to refer to an occupation with guaranteed job security, as well as steady income and benefits. The Chinese term can be compared to the similar English concept of a breadwinner with cradle to grave socialism...

), which led to a “crisis of layoffs and unemployment.”

Intellectuals and students were especially disaffected by the reform process, as they were originally envisioned to play a leading role in the “springtime of the sciences.” Due to the initial stress on educated people to guide development, the number of universities expanded (400 universities in 1977 to 1,975 in 1988), as did student enrollment (625,319 in 1977 to 2,065,923 in 1988). However, the Four Modernizations
Four Modernizations
The Four Modernizations were goals, set forth by Zhou Enlai in 1963, to strengthen the fields of agriculture, industry, national defense, science and technology...

 were “gradually dropped”, as central planning gave way to a market-economy development strategy being adopted. The reform process would now emphasize the role of the market, agriculture, light industry, the service sector, private initiatives, and foreign investment. This shift in orientation was not received well by the burgeoning student population, who found it difficult to find job placements as “the recently prospering industrial sectors, that, is rural collective industries and private businesses, did not really need and could not attract university graduates.” Undergraduate students in the social sciences and the humanities, 18.3% of all Beijing undergraduates in 1988, were especially hard hit because their training did not give them an advantage in the new market economy. This problem, growing since the mid-1980s, was exacerbated by a reform to the job assignment system in 1988, creating the two-way selection system. This allowed private companies to veto the job placements, instead of accepting students the universities matched them with. The two-way system is referred to by Dingxin Zhao as the “backdoor selection” system, because it was pervaded by nepotism and favoritism, as “employers only took students who had acquaintances in their unit regardless of the students' academic performance.” Popular slogans espoused by intellectuals and students during the mid-1980 included, “those who hold scalpels earn less than those who hold eel knives” and, “those who produce missiles earn less than those who sell tea eggs.” Facing a dismal job market, due to the economic reforms, and limited chances of going abroad after the mid-1980s, Chinese intellectuals and students had a greater vested interest in Chinese domestic and political issues. Small-scale study groups began appearing on Beijing university campuses, the most famous being Wang Dan
Wang Dan
Wang Dan , a leader of the Chinese democracy movement, was one of the most visible of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Wang holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. From August 2009 to February 2010, Wang taught cross-strait history at Taiwan's National...

's Democracy Salon and Liu Gang's Caodi Salon (the salon on the lawn). These were attended by students, members of the intellectual elite; even the American ambassador and his wife participated in one meeting. Discussions covered a wide range of issues about politics, which “trained many student activists” who were the “major organizational base for the coming student movement.” The “worsening economic situation of intellectuals and students, and of the country as a whole” led to “student protests repeatedly breaking out in universities after 1986” (see 1986–1987 Student Protests, and April–June 1988 protests).

Wang Hui
Wang Hui (intellectual)
Wang Hui is a professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Tsinghua University, Beijing. His researches focus on contemporary Chinese literature and intellectual history. He was the executive editor of the influential magazine Dushu from May 1996 to July 2007...

, a professor in Beijing, says that, “these changes (the economic reforms) were the catalyst for the 1989 social mobilization.” Wu Xiuquan, member of the Standing Committee of the Central Advisory Commission
Central Advisory Commission
Central Advisory Commission of People's Republic of China provided "political assistance and consultation" to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China ....

, echoed this sentiment at the Secretariat of the Fourth Plenum of the Thirteenth CCP Central Committee on 19 June 1989, two weeks after the repression of the protest, when he said,
"China has its own unique national situation and patterns of development; copying others mechanically will lead us straight to disaster. What's more, economics and politics go by different rules. Why did Zhao's shock-therapy price reforms fail last year? Because they were too much; the people panicked."

Barry Naughton
Barry Naughton
Barry Naughton is the So Kwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He specializes in the Chinese economy and is a recognized expert in the field...

 states that “economic causes were an important part of the social crisis leading up to the Tiananmen debacle” and he asserts that the reforms during the 1980s were overwhelmingly successful. The social crisis leading up to the Tiananmen Square protests were created by deteriorating cyclical economic conditions. Naughton is in agreement with the “reform without losers” view of China's economic reforms, and only because anti-reform elements in the Party failed to roll back the reforms and market forces were allowed to correct the economy, did urban inflation decrease.

In a general sense, students and intellectuals demanded economic liberalization, political democracy, media freedom, freedom of speech and association, rule of law, and to have the legitimacy of the movement recognized. More specific demands opposed official corruption and speculation, opposition to the "Crown Prince Party
Crown Prince Party
In modern usage, the Crown Prince Party, or The Princelings, refers to the descendants of prominent and influential senior communist officials in the People's Republic of China. It is not a political party, but an informal, and often derogatory, categorization to signify those benefiting from...

" (elites with special privileges), and called for price stability, social security, and the democratic means to supervise the reform process, and the reorganization of social benefits. Transitioning from a socialist ideology that espoused equality to a new market oriented ideology, the reforms,
"Created a crisis of state legitimacy from two different directions: on the one hand, people could rely on the nature of state economic policy to criticize the legitimacy of the state ideology and its method of rule, while on the other they could use the ideology of socialism to take issue with the legitimacy of the new state economic policy."
Wang Hui encapsulates the protesters' motivation by stating that,
"Regardless of whether we are talking about students, intellectuals, or any others who participated in the movement in support of reform (political or economic) and demands for democracy, their hopes for and understanding of reform were extraordinarily diverse. When looked at from a broader or synthetic perspective, however, the reforms that the greater part of the populace hoped for and their ideals for democracy and rule by law were for the purposes of guaranteeing social justice and the democratization of economic life through the restructuring of politics and the legal system."
In the summer of 1986 astrophysics professor Fang Lizhi
Fang Lizhi
Fang Lizhi is a professor of astrophysics and former vice-president of the University of Science and Technology of China whose liberal ideas inspired the pro-democracy student movement of 1986-87 and, finally, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989...

, who had returned from Institute for Advanced Study
Institute for Advanced Study
The Institute for Advanced Study, located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, is an independent postgraduate center for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. It was founded in 1930 by Abraham Flexner...

, Princeton, United States, began a personal tour around universities in China, giving speeches about subjects such as liberty
Liberty
Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

, human rights, and separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

. He became immensely popular and his recorded speeches were passed from dormitory to dormitory, from campus to campus. Deng Xiaoping took notice and warned that Fang Lizhi was "admiring the Western multi-party system and attempting to undermine the Communist Party leadership; admiring the capitalist economy and attempting to undermine the socialist system; admiring the decadent western lifestyle and attempting to undermine the spiritual health of the Chinese people".
In December 1986, student demonstrators, taking advantage of the loosening political atmosphere, staged protests against the slow pace of reform. Inspired by Fang Lizhi, who gave speeches criticizing Deng's "go slow policies", students took to protest. The students were also disenchanted with the amount of control the government exerted, citing compulsory calisthenics and not being allowed to dance at rock concerts. Students called for campus elections, the chance to study abroad, and greater availability of western pop culture.

Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang
Hu Yaobang was a leader of the People's Republic of China who served as both Chairman and Party General Secretary. Hu joined the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930s, and rose to prominence as a comrade of Deng Xiaoping...

, a protégé of Deng and a leading advocate of reform, was blamed for the protests and his resignation from the position of Secretary General of the CPC was announced on 16 January 1987. Included in his resignation was also a "humiliating self-criticism", which the Central Committee of the Communist Party forced him to issue. The Party-led "Anti Bourgeois Liberalization Campaign", further denounced Hu. His forthright calls for "rapid reform" and his almost open contempt of "Maoist excesses" had made him a suitable scapegoat in the eyes of Deng and others, after the pro-democracy student protests of 1986–1987. Because he was publicly sympathetic to reform, Hu Yaobang became a popular figure among the Chinese students.

The death of Hu Yaobang provided the initial impetus for the Tiananmen Square protests Hu's sudden death, due to heart attack, on 15 April 1989, provided a perfect opportunity for the students to gather once again, not only to mourn the deceased Secretary General, but also to have their voices heard in "demanding a reversal of the verdict against him". The students hoped to bring renewed attention to the important issues of the 1986–1987 pro-democracy protests, and possibly also to those of the Democracy Wall protests
Tiananmen Incident
The Tiananmen Incident took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year...

 in 1978–1979.

Protest development

Student Leaders
Name Origin and Affiliation
Chai Ling
Chai Ling
Chai Ling was one of the student leaders in the Tian'anmen Square protests of 1989. Today she is Founder of All Girls Allowed, a humanitarian organization working to restore value to girls in China.-Education and protest:Chai Ling's parents were members of the Communist Party...

 
Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

; Beijing Normal University
Beijing Normal University
Beijing Normal University , colloqiually known as 北师大 or Beishida, is a public research university located in Beijing with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences...

Wu'erkaixi
Wu'erkaixi
Wu'erkaixi was a Mainland Chinese student leader of Uyghur ethnicity in the Tiananmen protests of 1989. He was born in Beijing, but listed as a native of Yili, Xinjiang Autonomous Region. He achieved prominence while studying at Beijing Normal University as a hunger striker who rebuked Chinese...

 
Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

; Beijing Normal University
Beijing Normal University
Beijing Normal University , colloqiually known as 北师大 or Beishida, is a public research university located in Beijing with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences...

Wang Dan
Wang Dan
Wang Dan , a leader of the Chinese democracy movement, was one of the most visible of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Wang holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. From August 2009 to February 2010, Wang taught cross-strait history at Taiwan's National...

 
Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

; Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

Feng Congde
Feng Congde
Feng Congde is a Chinese dissident. He was a student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests. He was on the Chinese Government's list of the 21 most wanted leaders of the protests....

 
Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

; Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

Shen Tong
Shen Tong
Shen Tong is a Chinese dissident who was one of the student leaders in the democracy movement at Tiananmen Square in 1989 One of the People of the Year by Newsweek 1989, Shen Tong became a media and software entrepreneur in late 1990s...

 
Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

; Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

Wang Youcai
Wang Youcai
Wang Youcai , an active dissident of the Chinese democracy movement, was one of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989...

 
Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

; Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

Li Lu
Li Lu
Li Lu is a Chinese-American investment banker and fund manager. He is the founder and Chairman of Himalaya Capital Management...

 
Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

; Nanjing University
Nanjing University
Nanjing University , or Nanking University, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China...

Zhou Yongjun  China University of Political Science and Law
China University of Political Science and Law
China University of Political Science and Law is a university in Beijing, People's Republic of China. Its law school is considered one of the best in China. In 2009, The Ministry of Education ranked CUPL 2nd among top law schools in China. CUPL has two campuses, one in Haidian, which is the...



Small voluntary civilian gatherings started on 15 April around Monument to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People's Republic of China.The Monument was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries...

 in the middle of the Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 in the form of mourning for Hu Yaobang. On the same day, many students at Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

 and Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University
Tsinghua University , colloquially known in Chinese as Qinghua, is a university in Beijing, China. The school is one of the nine universities of the C9 League. It was established in 1911 under the name "Tsinghua Xuetang" or "Tsinghua College" and was renamed the "Tsinghua School" one year later...

 expressed their sorrow and mourning for Hu Yaobang by posting eulogies inside the campus and erecting shrines, and joined the civilian mourning in Tiananmen Square in a piecemeal fashion. Organized student gatherings started outside of Beijing on a small scale in Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

 and Shanghai on 16 April.

Several people at the China University of Political Science and Law
China University of Political Science and Law
China University of Political Science and Law is a university in Beijing, People's Republic of China. Its law school is considered one of the best in China. In 2009, The Ministry of Education ranked CUPL 2nd among top law schools in China. CUPL has two campuses, one in Haidian, which is the...

 had made a large wreath
Wreath
A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring. They are used typically as Christmas decorations to symbolize the coming of Christ, also known as the Advent season in Christianity. They are also used as festive headdresses...

 to commemorate Hu Yaobang. Its laying-party was on 17 April and the people did not know how many people would join them. They started walking to Tiananmen Square at one o'clock and were surprised by the number of people who joined them. At five o'clock, 500 students from the university reached the eastern gate of the Great Hall of the People
Great Hall of the People
The Great Hall of the People is located at the western edge of Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People's Republic of China, and is used for legislative and ceremonial activities by the People's Republic of China and the Communist Party of China. It functions as the People's Republic of China's...

, part of Tiananmen Square, and commenced mourning activities for Hu Yaobang. The gathering in front of the Great Hall was soon deemed obstructive to the normal operation of the building, so police intervened and attempted to disperse the students by persuasion. The gathering featured speakers from various backgrounds giving public orations commemorating Hu Yaobang while expressing their concerns of social problems.

Starting on the night of 17 April, three thousand students from Peking University marched from the campus towards Tiananmen Square, and soon nearly a thousand students from Tsinghua University joined the ranks. Upon arrival, they soon joined forces with students and civilians who were in the Square earlier. As its size grew, the gathering gradually evolved into a protest, as students began to draft a list of pleas and suggestions ("List of Seven Demands") for the government:

(1) affirm as correct Hu Yaobang's views on democracy and freedom;
(2) admit that the campaigns against spiritual pollution and bourgeois liberalization had been wrong;
(3) publish information on the income of state leaders and their family members;
(4) end the ban on privately run newspapers and permit freedom of speech;
(5) increase funding for education and raise intellectuals' pay;
(6) end restrictions on demonstrations in Beijing; and
(7) hold democratic elections to replace government officials who made bad policy decisions.

In addition, they demanded that the government-controlled media print and broadcast their demands and that the government respond to them publicly.

On the morning of 18 April, the students remained in the square. Some gathered around the Monument to the People's Heroes
Monument to the People's Heroes
The Monument to the People's Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People's Republic of China.The Monument was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries...

 singing patriotic songs and listening to impromptu speeches by student organizers. Another group of students sat in front of the Great Hall of the People, the office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is a committee of about 150 members of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China , which is convened between plenary sessions of the NPC. It has the constitutional authority to modify legislation within limits set by...

; they demanded to see members of the Standing Committee and show them the List of Seven Demands. Meanwhile, a few thousand students gathered in front of the Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai
Zhongnanhai is an area in central Beijing, China adjacent to the Forbidden City which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The term Zhongnanhai is closely linked with the central government and senior Communist...

 building complex, the residence of the government, demanding to see government leaders and get answers to their earlier demands. Students tried to muscle their way through the gate by pushing, but security and police, locking arms, formed a cordon
Cordon
A cordon is also a line of people, military posts, or ships surrounding an area to close or guard it.Cordon may also refer to:* Cordon and search, a military operation...

 that eventually deterred students' attempts to enter through the gate. Students then staged a sit-in
Sit-in
A sit-in or sit-down is a form of protest that involves occupying seats or sitting down on the floor of an establishment.-Process:In a sit-in, protesters remain until they are evicted, usually by force, or arrested, or until their requests have been met...

. Some government officials did unofficially meet with student representatives, but without an official response, frustrations continued to mount.

On 20 April, police finally dispersed the students in front of Zhongnanhai by force, employing batons, and minor clashes were reported. The protests in Tiananmen Square gained momentum after news of the confrontation between students and police spread; the belief by students that the Chinese media was distorting the nature of their activities also led to increased public support. Also on this date, a group of workers calling themselves the “Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Federation
Beijing Workers' Autonomous Federation
The Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Federation or Beijing Workers’ Autonomous Union was the main organization of workers calling for political change during the Tiananmen Square protests of April, May, and June 1989...

” issued two handbills in response to the police action at Zhongnanhai.

On the night of 21 April, the day before Hu's funeral, some 100,000 students marched on Tiananmen Square, gathering there before the square could be closed off for the funeral. From 21 to 23 April, students from Beijing called for a strike at universities, which included teachers and students boycotting classes. The government became alarmed and was now well aware of the political storm caused by the now-legitimized 1976 Tiananmen Incident
Tiananmen Incident
The Tiananmen Incident took place on April 5, 1976 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, the Qingming Festival, after the Nanjing Incident, and was triggered by the death of Premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year...

.

On 22 April, near dusk, serious rioting broke out in Changsha and Xi'an
Xi'an
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty...

. In Xi'an, arson from rioters destroyed cars and houses, and looting occurred in shops near the city's Xihua Gate. In Changsha, 38 stores were ransacked by looters. Over 350 people were arrested in both cities. In Wuhan, university students organized protests against the provincial government. Under the direction of General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, the Politburo Standing Committee met several times to discuss on-going events. Zhao stressed three points: discourage students from further protests and ask them to go back to class, use all measures necessary to combat rioting, and open forms of dialogue with students at different levels of government. Premier Li Peng called upon Zhao to condemn protestors and recognize the need to take more serious action. Zhao was dismissive of Li. Despite calls for him to remain in Beijing, Zhao left for a state visit to North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 on 23 April.

Turning Point: 26 April Editorial


Zhao's departure to North Korea left Li Peng as the acting authority of the party in Beijing. On 24 April, Li Peng and the PSC met with Beijing Party Secretary Li Ximing
Li Ximing
Li Ximing was the Communist Party boss in Beijing during the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the capital and across the country.Li was elected to the 13th Politburo of the Communist Party of China on November 2, 1987 by the 13th Central Committee of the Communist Party of...

 and mayor Chen Xitong
Chen Xitong
Chen Xitong was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and the Mayor of Beijing until he was removed from office on charges of corruption in 1995.-Biography:...

. Beijing municipal officials wanted a quick resolution to the crisis, and presented the protests as a conspiracy to overthrow China's political system and major party leaders, including Deng Xiaoping. In the absence of Zhao, the PSC agreed that some kind of firm action against protesters was due. On the evening of 25 April, Li Peng and Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission...

 met with Deng Xiaoping in Deng's residence. Deng endorsed a hardline stance against the protests. This meeting firmly established the first cohesive official government policy on the protests, and highlighted Deng's position of authority on large matters. Li Peng subsequently ordered Deng's internal speech to be drafted as a communique and issued to all mid to high-level officials in the Communist Party in an effort to mobilize the party apparatus against protesters.

On 26 April, echoing the party communique, the party's official newspaper, the People's Daily
People's Daily
The People's Daily is a daily newspaper in the People's Republic of China. The paper is an organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China , published worldwide with a circulation of 3 to 4 million. In addition to its main Chinese-language edition, it has editions in English,...

, issued a front-page editorial titled "It is necessary to take a clear-cut stand against disturbances," attempting to rally the public behind the government, and accused "extremely small segments of opportunists" of plotting to overthrow the Communist Party and China's "socialist system of government". The statement enraged student protesters, who interpreted its contents as a direct indictment on the protests. The editorial proved to be a major sticking point for the remainder of the protests. On 27 April about 50,000 students assembled on the streets of Beijing, disregarding the warning of military action made by authorities, and demanded that the government retract the statement. At the same time, student leaders also toned down anti-Communist slogans, choosing to present a message of "anti-corruption, anti-cronyism" but "pro-party".

In Beijing, a majority of students from the city's numerous colleges and universities participated with support of their instructors and other intellectuals. Posters and leaflets
Student posters and leaflets during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
During the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, many big-character posters, banners and leaflets appeared. These posters and leaflets became an important source throughout the course of the student movement. They provided valuable information and insight into the goals, slogans and instructions that...

 were posted at the Triangle at Beijing University and at the Monument to the People's Heroes and informed the students of what was happening throughout the course of the movement. The students rejected official Communist Party-controlled student associations and set up autonomous associations in their stead. The students viewed themselves as patriots and heirs of the 1919 May Fourth Movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

 for "science and democracy". The protests also evoked memories of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1976, which had eventually led to the ousting of the Gang of Four. From their origins as a memorial to Hu Yaobang, who was seen by the students as an advocate of democracy, the students' activities gradually developed over the course of their demonstration from protests against corruption into demands for freedom of the press
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

 and an end to, or the reform of, the rule of the PRC by the Communist Party of China and Deng Xiaoping.

While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally against authoritarianism
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

 and voiced calls for democratic reform within the structure of the government. Unlike the Tiananmen protests of 1987, which consisted mainly of students and intellectuals, the protests in 1989 commanded widespread support from the urban workers who were alarmed by the new economic reforms, growing inflation, and corruption. In Beijing, they were supported by a large number of people. Similar numbers were found in major cities throughout China, including Urumqi
Ürümqi
Ürümqi , formerly Tihwa , is the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, in the northwest of the country....

, Shanghai, and Chongqing
Chongqing
Chongqing is a major city in Southwest China and one of the five national central cities of China. Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities , and the only such municipality in inland China.The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the...

; and later in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese communities in North America and Europe.

Protests escalate

Party and Government Leaders
Name Position(s) in 1989
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 
Paramount Leader
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

, Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
The Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China has overall responsibility for the Central Military Commission. According to Chapter 3, Section 4 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, "The Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of...

Chen Yun
Chen Yun
Chen Yun was one of the most influential leaders of the People's Republic of China during the 1980s and 90s, and one of the top leaders of the Communist Party of China for almost its entire history. He was also known as Liao Chengyun ; it's unclear whether this was his original name or a pseudonym...

 
Chairman of the CPC Central Advisory Commission
Central Advisory Commission
Central Advisory Commission of People's Republic of China provided "political assistance and consultation" to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China ....

Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989....

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China , officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat...

 
First Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

Premier of the State Council
Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi is a politician in the People's Republic of China. He was born as Jiang Zhitong , to parents of Dinghai, Zhejiang province ancestry. He is said to be distantly related to Chiang Kai-shek's family and this was the cause for the persecution he suffered during the Cultural Revolution...

Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection 
Secretary of the CPC Political and Legislative Affairs Committee
Hu Qili
Hu Qili
Hu Qili is a politician of the People's Republic of China.-Biography:In 1948 at the age of 19, Hu joined the Communist Party of China . He studied at Peking University from 1946-1951...

Secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party
Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee
The Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee is the permanent bureaucracy of the Communist Party of China and forms a parallel structure to state organizations in the People's Republic of China....

Yao Yilin
Yao Yilin
Yao Yilin was a deputy Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1983 to 1988, and the country's First Vice Premier from 1988 to 1993. He was born in Hong Kong in 1917, and spent his early years in Guichi, Chizhou, Anhui. Yao joined the Communist Party of China in 1935...

Vice Premier of the State Council
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission...

 
President of the People's Republic of China
President of the People's Republic of China
The President of the People's Republic of China is a ceremonial office and a part of State organs under the National People's Congress and it is the head of state of the People's Republic of China . The office was created by the 1982 Constitution...

 
Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Central Military Commission
A Central Military Commission or National Defense Commission is an organisation typical of Communist one-party states, responsible for supervising the nation's armed forces....

Wan Li
Wan Li
Wan Li was during a long administrative career in the People's Republic of China Vice Premier, National People's Congress Chairman, and a member of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, its Secretariat and its Politburo...

 
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Li Xiannian
Li Xianniàn
Li Xiannian was President of the People's Republic of China between 1983 and 1988 and then chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference until his death. He was an influential political figure throughout the PRC, having been a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of...

 
Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen was a Chinese political figure and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China.-Early years:Like most Chinese communist leaders, Wang was a commander in his early years...

 
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
The Vice President of the People's Republic of China , formerly called Vice Chairman of the People's Republic of China from 1954 to 1975, or abbreviated Guójiā Fù Zhǔxí 国家副主席, literally State Vice-chairman) is a senior position in the government of the People's Republic of China.-Selection and...

Bo Yibo
Bo Yibo
Bo Yibo was a Chinese politician and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China....

 
Vice-Chairman of the CPC Central Advisory Commission
Central Advisory Commission
Central Advisory Commission of People's Republic of China provided "political assistance and consultation" to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China ....

Xi Zhongxun
Xi Zhongxun
Xi Zhongxun was a communist revolutionary and a State Councillor of the People's Republic of China. He is considered to be among the first generation of Chinese leadership.-Biography:...

 
Vice-Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

 
Communist Party Shanghai Municipal Secretary
Politics of Shanghai
The Politics of Shanghai is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in the mainland of the People's Republic of China . In the last few decades the city has produced many of the country's eventual senior leaders...

Zhu Rongji
Zhu Rongji
Zhū Róngjī is a prominent Chinese politician who served as the Mayor and Party chief in Shanghai between 1987 and 1991, before serving as Vice-Premier and then the fifth Premier of the People's Republic of China from March 1998 to March 2003.A tough administrator, his time in office saw the...

 
Mayor of Shanghai
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang...

 
Communist Party Tibet Regional Secretary
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

 
Director of the General Office of the Communist Party
Bold text indicates membership in the CPC Politburo Standing Committee


On 4 May, approximately 100,000 students and workers marched in Beijing, making demands for free media and a formal dialogue between the authorities and student-elected representatives. A declaration demanded the government to accelerate political reform.

The government rejected the proposed dialogue, only agreeing to talk to members of appointed student organizations. On 13 May, two days prior to the highly-publicized state visit
State visit
A state visit is a formal visit by a foreign head of state to another nation, at the invitation of that nation's head of state. State visits are the highest form of diplomatic contact between two nations, and are marked by ceremonial pomp and diplomatic protocol. In parliamentary democracies, heads...

 by the reform-minded General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the title given to the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. With some exceptions, the office was synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union...

, Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

, huge groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square and started a hunger strike
Hunger strike
A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change. Most hunger strikers will take liquids but not...

, insisting the government withdraw the accusation made in the People's Daily editorial and begin talks with the designated student representatives. Hundreds of students went on hunger strikes and were supported by hundreds of thousands of protesting students and part of the population of Beijing, for one week.

Protests and strikes began at colleges in other cities, with many students traveling to Beijing to join the demonstration. Generally, the demonstration at Tiananmen Square was well-ordered, with daily marches of students from various Beijing-area colleges displaying their solidarity with the boycott of college classes and with the developing demands of the protest. The students sang The Internationale
The Internationale
The Internationale is a famous socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist anthem.The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular fame under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state's de facto central anthem...

, the world socialist anthem, on their way to, and within, the square. The students even showed a surprising gesture of respect to the government by helping police arrest three men from Hunan Province
Hunan
' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...

, including Yu Zhijian, Yu Dongyue
Yu Dongyue
Yu Dongyue is a former Chinese journalist imprisoned for almost 17 years in China, for throwing paint-filled eggs onto the large portrait of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989....

, and Lu Decheng
Lu Decheng
Lu Decheng was born in Liuyang, Hunan Province of China. He is best known for his role in the "Egg Washing" of Mao’s portrait in Tiananmen Square, along with two friends, Yu Dongyue and Yu Zhijian during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The three men were caught by students and workers in the...

, who had thrown ink on the large portrait of Mao that hangs over the gates of the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

, just north of the square. The three young men were later sentenced to prison for, respectively, life, 20 years, and 16 years. Two of the men were freed after 10 years, and Yu Dongyue was released after nearly 17 years.

Hunger strikes


To avoid losing momentum, the students decided to hold a hunger strike, which began in May 1989, and which grew to include "more than one thousand persons". The hunger strike brought widespread support for the students and "the ordinary people of Beijing rallied to protect the hunger strikers...because the act of refusing sustenance and courting government reprisals convinced onlookers that the students were not just seeking personal gains but (were) sacrificing themselves for the Chinese people as a whole".

The hunger strike gained significant support nationally for the students and alarmed top Communist Party leadership. The national press, still relatively free to cover ongoing events without propagating the party line, aired talks between Premier Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

 and student leaders on the evening of 18 May. During the talks, Wu'er Kaixi, Wang Dan
Wang Dan
Wang Dan , a leader of the Chinese democracy movement, was one of the most visible of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Wang holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. From August 2009 to February 2010, Wang taught cross-strait history at Taiwan's National...

, and other protest leaders openly accused the government for being too slow to react and rebuked Li Peng personally, charging that Li did not have "sincerity to conduct real discussions". The discussion did not yield much results, but gained student leaders prominent airtime on national television. Li Peng and other leaders maintained that the government was only trying to "maintain order", and alluded to the students actions as "patriotic".
As the hunger strike escalated, numerous political and civil organizations around the country voiced their concern for the students, many empathizing with their positions. The Chinese Red Cross issued a special notice and sent in a large number of personnel to provide medical services to the hunger strikers on the Square.

On 19 May, shortly after the Standing Committee had decided to call in the military, Zhao Ziyang went to Tiananmen personally in an attempt to neutralize the situation. Zhao was aware that his political career was likely finished. Li Peng, hearing that Zhao was making the trip, accompanied Zhao to the Square, but quickly became agitated and left. Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

, who would become Premier himself in 2003, joined Zhao after he arrived. At 4:50 am Zhao made a speech on the Square urging the students to end the hunger strike. He told the students that they were still young and urged them to stay healthy and not to sacrifice themselves so easily. Zhao's emotional speech was applauded by some students on the Square; it would be his last public appearance.

Partially successful attempts were made to negotiate with the government in a location near in Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party headquarters and leadership compound. Because of the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

, foreign media were present in China in large numbers. Their coverage of the protests was extensive and generally favorable towards the protesters, but pessimistic that they would attain their goals. Toward the end of the demonstration, on 30 May, a Goddess of Democracy
Goddess of Democracy
The Goddess of Democracy , and the Goddess of Liberty , was a 10-meter-tall statue created during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.The statue was constructed in only four days out of foam and papier-mâché over a metal armature...

 statue was erected in the Square and came to symbolize the protest to television viewers worldwide.

The Standing Committee of the Politburo
Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China is a committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, whose membership varies between 5 and 9 people. The inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are...

, along with the party elders (retired but still-influential former officials of the government and Party), were at first hopeful that the demonstrations would be short-lived or that cosmetic reforms and investigations would satisfy the protesters. They wished to avoid violence if possible, and relied at first on their far-reaching Party apparatus in attempts to persuade the students to abandon the protest and return to their studies. One barrier to effective action was that the leadership itself supported many of the demands of the students, especially the concern with corruption. However, one large problem was that the protests contained many people with varying agendas, and hence it was unclear with whom the government could negotiate, and what the exact demands of the protesters were. The confusion and indecision among the protesters was also mirrored by confusion and indecision within the government. The official media mirrored this indecision as headlines in the People's Daily alternated between sympathy with the demonstrators and denouncing them.
Among the top leadership, General Secretary Zhao Ziyang was strongly in favour of a soft approach to the demonstrations, while Li Peng was seen to argue in favour of military action. Ultimately the decision to forcefully intervene on the demonstrations was made by a group of Party elders, who saw abandonment of single-party rule
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

 as a return of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

. Although most of these people had no official position, they were able to control the military. Deng Xiaoping was chairman of the Central Military Commission and was able to declare martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 through the State Council
State Council of the People's Republic of China
The State Council of the People's Republic of China , which is largely synonymous with the Central People's Government after 1954, is the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China. It is chaired by the Premier and includes the heads of each governmental department and agency...

; Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission...

 was President of the People's Republic of China
President of the People's Republic of China
The President of the People's Republic of China is a ceremonial office and a part of State organs under the National People's Congress and it is the head of state of the People's Republic of China . The office was created by the 1982 Constitution...

 (a symbolic position under the 1982 Constitution
Constitution of the People's Republic of China
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China is the highest law within the People's Republic of China. The current version was adopted by the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982 with further revisions in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. Three previous state constitutions—those of...

) and the Vice-Chairman of Central Military Commission. The Party elders believed that lengthy demonstrations were a threat to the stability of the country. The demonstrators were seen as tools of advocates of "bourgeois liberalism
Bourgeois liberalism
Bourgeois liberalism refers to either parliamentary democracy or Western popular culture. The foundations for bourgeois liberalism is that of Adam Smith's writing The Wealth of Nations, seen in 19th-century classical economic liberalism. The French term bourgeois' origins are that of 'middle...

" who were pulling the strings behind the scenes, as well as tools of elements within the party who wished to further their personal ambitions.

Nationwide and outside mainland China


At the beginning of the movement, the Chinese news media had a rare opportunity to broadcast the news without heavy government censorship. Most of the news media were free to write and report however they wanted, due to lack of control from the central and local governments. The news was spread quickly across the land. According to Chinese news media's report, students and workers in over 400 cities, including cities in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, located in the northern region of the country. Inner Mongolia shares an international border with the countries of Mongolia and the Russian Federation...

, also organized and started to protest. People also traveled to the capital to join the protest in the Square.

University students in Shanghai also took to the streets to commemorate the death of Hu Yaobang and protest against certain policies of the government. In many cases, these were supported by the universities' Party committees. Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

, then-Municipal Party Secretary, addressed the student protesters in a bandage and 'expressed his understanding', as he was a former student agitator before 1949. But at the same time, he moved swiftly to send in police forces to control the streets and to purge Communist Party leaders who had supported the students.

On 19 April, the editors of the World Economic Herald, a magazine close to reformists, decided to publish, in their 24 April No.439 issue, a commemorative section on Hu. Inside was an article by Yan Jiaqi
Yan Jiaqi
Yan Jiaqi 嚴家其 is a Chinese political scientist, now a dissident and federalist.In 1959, he entered the University of Science and Technology of China, and then became the director of the Institute of Political Research of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, where he published several essays and...

, which commented favourably on the Beijing student protests of 18 April, and which called for a reassessment of Hu's purge in 1987. On 21 April, a party official of Shanghai asked the editor in chief, Qin Benli, to change some passages. Qin Benli refused, so the official turned to Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

, who demanded that the article be censored. By that time, a first batch of copies of the paper had already been delivered. The remaining copies were published with a blank page. On 26 April, the "People's Daily" published its editorial condemning the student protest
Student protest
Student protest encompasses a wide range of activities that indicate student dissatisfaction with a given political or academic issue and mobilization to communicate this dissatisfaction to the authorities and society in general and hopefully remedy the problem...

. Jiang followed this cue and suspended Qin Benli.

In Hong Kong, on 27 May 1989, over 300,000 people gathered at Happy Valley Racecourse
Happy Valley Racecourse
Happy Valley Racecourse is one of the two racecourses for horse racing in Hong Kong. It is located in Happy Valley on Hong Kong Island, surrounded by Wong Nai Chung Road and Morrison Hill Road.-History:...

 for a gathering called "Democratic songs dedicated for China." Many Hong Kong celebrities sang songs and expressed their support for the students in Beijing. The following day, a procession of 1.5 million people, one fourth of Hong Kong's population, led by Martin Lee
Martin Lee
Martin Lee , QC, SC, JP, was the founding chairman of the Democratic Party in Hong Kong. He was a directly-elected Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Island geographical constituency...

, Szeto Wah
Szeto Wah
Szeto Wah was a politician of the pan-democracy camp of Hong Kong. He was formerly the chairman of The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China and a member of the Legislative Council from 1985 to 1997 and 1998 to 2004.Although the Hong Kong government prior to as...

 and other organization leaders, paraded through Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

. Across the world, especially where Chinese lived, people gathered and protested. Many governments, including those of the USA and Japan, issued warnings advising their own citizens not to go to the PRC.

Military action



20 May – 1 June


The Chinese government declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on 20 May, and deployed People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 forces in three to four major vehicle convoys to Beijing. Their entry into the city was blocked at its suburbs by throngs of protesters. Tens of thousands of demonstrators surrounded military vehicles, preventing them from either advancing or retreating. Protesters frequently lectured soldiers on the reasons for their actions and appealed to them to join their cause and provided them with food and water. On 24 May, the army was ordered to withdraw. All government forces retreated to bases outside the city. In his autobiography, Zhao Ziyang claimed that there was no formal vote by the Politburo Standing Committee to declare martial law, implying that Party elders effectively took control of the government by fiat.

Meanwhile, the demonstrations continued. The hunger strike was approaching the end of the third week, and the government resolved to end the matter before deaths occurred. After deliberation among Communist party leaders, the use of the military to resolve the crisis was ordered, and a deep divide in the politburo resulted. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang
Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989....

 was ousted from political leadership as a result of his support for the demonstrators.

1–2 June


For the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC), the days leading up to 4 June were crucial in their decision making. The CPC agreed that it was necessary to end the “turmoil,” and that the students occupying the Square should return to their campuses. However, the CPC was struggling with the idea that if it was to put an end to the movement within the next few days, it was likely that force would be necessary to remove the students. In order to carry out the clearing of the Square, the members of the Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

 needed to be in agreement that using martial law to restore order was the only option. On 1 June Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

 issued a report titled “On the True Nature of the Turmoil”, which was circulated to every member of the Politburo. The report aimed to persuade the Politburo of the necessity and legality of clearing Tiananmen Square by referring to the protestors as terrorists and counterrevolutionaries. The report stated that turmoil was continuing to grow as the students did not have plans to leave the Square, since they were receiving more support.

Further justification for martial law came in the form of a report submitted by the State Security Ministry to Party Central, which emphasized the infiltration of bourgeois liberalism
Bourgeois liberalism
Bourgeois liberalism refers to either parliamentary democracy or Western popular culture. The foundations for bourgeois liberalism is that of Adam Smith's writing The Wealth of Nations, seen in 19th-century classical economic liberalism. The French term bourgeois' origins are that of 'middle...

 into China and the negative effect that the West – particularly the United States of America – was having on the students. The State Security Ministry expressed its belief that American forces had openly intervened in the student movement in hopes of overthrowing the Communist Party. The report created a sense of urgency within in the CPC, and provided justification for military action. In conjunction with the plan to clear the Square by force, the Politburo received word from the martial law troops headquarters stating that the troops were ready to help stabilize the capital, and that they understood the necessity and legality of martial law to overcome the turmoil.

On 2 June, the student movement saw an increase in action and protest, solidifying the CPC’s decision that it was time to act. Protests broke out as newspapers published articles that called for the students to leave Tiananmen Square and end the movement. Many of the students in the Square were not willing to leave and were outraged by the articles. The students were angered by the People’s Daily article published on 1 June written by Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

 professors which asked the students to leave the Square and return to their studies on campus. They were also outraged by Beijing Daily’s 1 June article “Tiananmen, I Cry for You”, written by a fellow student who had become disillusioned with the movement, as he thought it was chaotic and disorganized. In response to the articles, thousands of students lined the streets of Beijing to protest against leaving the Square.

On 2 June, three intellectuals, Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule in China...

, Zhou Duo, Gao Xin, and a Taiwanese singer Hou Dejian
Hou Dejian
侯德健 , born October 1, 1956 in Taiwan, is a songwriter, composer, and singer.Since the 1980s, his songs have been popular in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. His songs are written mostly in Chinese, with a few in English...

 declared a second hunger strike because they wanted to revive the pro-democracy movement. After weeks of occupying the Square, the students were tired, and dissent between different student groups was growing. In their declaration speech, the hunger strikers openly criticized the government’s suppression of the movement to remind the students that their cause was worth fighting for, and pushed them to continue their occupation of the Square. Consequently, the CPC became more determined to quickly put an end to the student movement, as a second hunger strike seemed to be proof that turmoil was increasing.

During a meeting on 2 June, the CPC formally moved to clear the Square by force. Records from this meeting indicate that the Party Elders, (Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, Li Xiannian
Li Xianniàn
Li Xiannian was President of the People's Republic of China between 1983 and 1988 and then chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference until his death. He was an influential political figure throughout the PRC, having been a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of...

, Peng Zhen
Peng Zhen
Peng Zhen was a leading member of the Communist Party of China.-Biography:Born in Houma , Peng was originally named Fu Maogong....

, Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission...

, and Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen was a Chinese political figure and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China.-Early years:Like most Chinese communist leaders, Wang was a commander in his early years...

) agreed with the Politburo committee (Li Peng
Li Peng
Li Peng served as the fourth Premier of the People's Republic of China, between 1987 and 1998, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body, from 1998 to 2003. For much of the 1990s Li was ranked second in the Communist Party of China ...

, Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi is a politician in the People's Republic of China. He was born as Jiang Zhitong , to parents of Dinghai, Zhejiang province ancestry. He is said to be distantly related to Chiang Kai-shek's family and this was the cause for the persecution he suffered during the Cultural Revolution...

, and Yao Yilin
Yao Yilin
Yao Yilin was a deputy Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1983 to 1988, and the country's First Vice Premier from 1988 to 1993. He was born in Hong Kong in 1917, and spent his early years in Guichi, Chizhou, Anhui. Yao joined the Communist Party of China in 1935...

) that the Square needed to be cleared as quickly as possible. They also agreed that the Square needed to be cleared as peacefully as possible, but if protesters did not cooperate, the troops were authorized to use force to complete the job. In preparation for clearing the Square, martial law troops moved into Beijing. On the morning of 2 June, newspapers reported that troops were positioned in ten key spots within the city. Around midnight of 2 June an order went out to the remaining martial law troops to move to designated areas in Beijing. After finalizing the decision to clear the Square, the CPC intended to act quickly. On the evening of 2 June, there were reports that a police Jeep ran into four civilians, killing three, and injuring the other. This incident sparked fear that the army and the police were trying to advance into Tiananmen Square. Student leaders issued emergency orders for the students to set up roadblocks at major intersections to prevent the advance of the large numbers of armed troops that were attempting to infiltrate the Square. In the early hours of 3 June, the first reports of violence on both sides were reported.

3–5 June


Soldiers and tanks from the 27th
27th Army (People's Republic of China)
The 27th Group Army is a military formation of China's People's Liberation Army and one of three active group armies belonging to the Beijing Military Region. It is based in Shijiazhuang, Hebei and is composed of one armored brigade, two motorized infantry brigades, one artillery brigade, and an...

 and 38th Armies of the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 were sent to take control of Beijing and clear Tiananmen Square. The 27th Army was led by a commander related to Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission...

. Intelligence reports also indicated that 27th and 38th units were brought in from outside provinces because the PLA troops were considered to be sympathetic to the protest and to the people of the city. Reports described the 27th as having been most responsible for civilian deaths and suggested that elements of the 27th established defensive positions in Beijing – not of the sort designed to counter a civilian uprising, but as if to defend against attacks by other military units. There were rumours at the time that high-ranking officials sympathised with the pro-democracy protesters and reports of defiance among other troops. According to the revised edition of Political Struggles in China's Reform Era, Major General Xu Qinxian, commander of the 38th Army, shocked the top leadership when he refused a verbal order from General Li Laizhu to send the 38th in to clear the square; Xu had insisted on a written order. Xu was immediately removed from command and was later jailed for five years and expelled from the Communist Party.

As word spread that hundreds of thousands of troops were approaching from all four corners of the city, residents of Beijing flooded the streets to block them, as they had done two weeks earlier. People set up barricades at every major intersection. At about 10:30 pm, near the Muxidi apartment buildings (home to high-level Party officials and their families), protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police and army vehicles. Many vehicles were set on fire in the streets all around Tiananmen, some with their occupants still inside them. There were reports of soldiers being burned alive in their armoured personnel carriers while others were beaten to death. Soldiers responded by opening fire on protesters with live ammunition, causing casualties among demonstrators. Soldiers also raked apartment buildings in the area with gunfire, and some people inside their apartments or watching the scene from their balconies were shot.

The battle raged in the streets surrounding the Square, with protesters repeatedly advancing toward the PLA and constructing barricades with vehicles, while the PLA attempted to clear the streets using tear gas, gunfire, and tanks. Many injured citizens were saved by rickshaw
Cycle rickshaw
The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, becak, trisikad, or trishaw or, simply, rickshaw which also refers to auto rickshaws, and the, now uncommon, rickshaws pulled by a person on foot...

 drivers who ventured into the no-man's-land between the soldiers and crowds and carried the wounded off to hospitals. After the attack on the square, live television coverage showed many people wearing black armbands in protest against the government, crowding various boulevards or congregating by burnt out and smoking barricades. In a couple of cases, soldiers were pulled from tanks, beaten and killed by protesters.

Meanwhile, the PLA systematically established checkpoints around the city, chasing after protesters and blocking off the university district.

Earlier, within the Square itself, there had been a debate between those who wished to withdraw peacefully, including Han Dongfang
Han Dongfang
Han Dongfang has been an advocate for workers' rights in China for more than two decades during which time he has won numerous international awards including the 1993 Democracy Award from the U.S...

, and those who wished to stand within the square, such as Chai Ling
Chai Ling
Chai Ling was one of the student leaders in the Tian'anmen Square protests of 1989. Today she is Founder of All Girls Allowed, a humanitarian organization working to restore value to girls in China.-Education and protest:Chai Ling's parents were members of the Communist Party...

.
At about 1:00 am, the army finally reached Tiananmen Square and waited for orders from the government. The soldiers had been told not to open fire, but they had also been told that they must clear the square by 6:00 am – with no exceptions or delays. They made a final offer of amnesty if the few thousand remaining students would leave. About 4:00 am, student leaders put the matter to a vote: Leave the square, or stay and face the consequences.

Armored personnel carriers (APCs) rolled up the roads, firing ahead and off to the sides. BBC reporter Kate Adie
Kate Adie
Kathryn "Kate" Adie , OBE , is a British journalist. Her most high-profile role was that of chief news correspondent for BBC News, during which time she became well known for reporting from war zones around the world...

 spoke of "indiscriminate fire" within the square. Eyewitness reporter Charlie Cole also saw Chinese soldiers firing Type 56  rifles into the crowd near an APC which had just been torched. During the night, protester sustained heavy casualties.

Students who sought refuge in buses were pulled out by groups of soldiers and beaten with heavy sticks. Even students attempting to leave the square were beaten. Leaders of the protest inside the square, where some had attempted to erect flimsy barricades ahead of the APCs, were said to have "implored" the students not to use weapons (such as Molotov cocktails) against the oncoming soldiers. Meanwhile, many students apparently were shouting, "Why are you killing us?" Around 4 or 5 am the following morning, 4 June, tanks smashed into the square, crushing vehicles and people with their treads, according to Cole. By 5:40 am 4 June, the Square had been cleared. James Miles, who was the BBC's Beijing correspondent at the time, stated:

I and others conveyed the wrong impression. There was no massacre on Tiananmen Square... Protesters who were still in the square when the army reached it were allowed to leave after negotiations with martial law troops (Only a handful of journalists were on hand to witness this moment [...]). [...] There was no Tiananmen Square massacre, but there was a Beijing massacre.


Richard Roth of CBS reported that he and a colleague were on the south portico of the Great Hall of the People (which forms one of the borders of the Square) led by Richard Roth. In the words of eyewitness CBS news correspondent Richard Roth:

Derek Williams and I were driven in a pair of army jeeps right through the square, almost along its full length, and into the Forbidden City. Dawn was just breaking. There were hundreds of troops in the square ... But we saw no bodies, injured people, ambulances or medical personnel—in short, nothing to even suggest, let alone prove, that a "massacre" had recently occurred in that place... some have found it uncomfortable that all this conforms with what the Chinese government has always claimed, perhaps with a bit of sophistry: that there was no "massacre in Tiananmen Square." But there's no question many people were killed by the army that night around Tiananmen Square, and on the way to it – mostly in the western part of Beijing. Maybe, for some, comfort can be taken in the fact that the government denies that, too.


On the morning of 5 June, protesters parents of casualties, workers and infuriated civilians tried to enter the blockaded square but were shot at by the soldiers. The soldiers shot them in the back when they were running away. These actions were repeated several times.

"Tank Man"


The suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man in a white shirt standing in front of a column of tanks which were attempting to drive out of Tiananmen Square. Taken on 5 June as the column approached an intersection on the Chang'an Avenue
Chang'an Avenue
Chang'an Avenue , literally "Eternal Peace Street", is a major thoroughfare in Beijing, China.Chang'an is the old name for Xi'an which was the capital of China during the Tang Dynasty and other periods....

, the footage depicted the unarmed man standing in the center of the street, halting the tanks' progress. As the tank driver attempted to go around him, the "Tank Man" moved into the tank's path. He continued to stand defiantly in front of the tanks for some time, then climbed up onto the turret of the lead tank to speak to the soldiers inside. After returning to his position in front of the tanks, the man was pulled aside by a group of people.

Eyewitnesses disagree about the identity of the group who pulled him aside. Jan Wong
Jan Wong
Jan Wong is a Canadian journalist of Chinese ancestry. Wong worked for The Globe and Mail, serving as Beijing correspondent from 1988 to 1994, when she returned to write from Canada....

 is convinced the group were concerned citizens helping him away, while Charlie Cole believes that "Tank Man" was probably executed after being taken from the tank by secret police, since the Chinese government could never produce him to hush the outcry from many countries. Time Magazine dubbed him The Unknown Rebel and later named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century is a compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, published in Time magazine in 1999....

. British tabloid the Sunday Express reported that the man was 19-year-old student Wang Weilin; however, the validity of this claim is dubious.

What happened to the "Tank Man" following the demonstration is not known. In a speech to the President's Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn—former deputy special assistant to President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

—reported that he was executed 14 days later. In Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, Jan Wong writes that the man is still alive and hiding in mainland China. In Forbidden City, Canadian children's author William Bell
William E. Bell (author)
William E. Bell is a Canadian Young Adult fiction author.Bell was born in Toronto in 1945. He has been a high school English teacher and department head, an instructor at the Harbin University of Science and Technology, the Foreign Affairs College , and the University of British Columbia...

, claims the man was named Wang Ai-min and was killed on 9 June after being taken into custody. The last official statement from the PRC government about the "Tank Man" came from CPC General Secretary Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

 in a 1990 interview; when asked about the whereabouts of the "Tank Man", Jiang responded: "I think never killed."

After order was restored in Beijing on 4 June, protests continued throughout much of mainland China for several days. There were large protests in Hong Kong, where people again wore black in protest. There were protests in Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

, and large-scale protests in Shanghai with a general strike. There were also protests in other countries, many adopting the use of black armbands as well. However, the government soon regained control. A political purge followed in which officials responsible for organizing or condoning the protests were removed, and protest leaders jailed. According to Amnesty International at least 300 people were killed in Chengdu on 5 June. Troops in Chengdu used concussion grenades, truncheons, knives and electric cattle prods against civilians. Hospitals were ordered to not accept students and on the second night the ambulance service was stopped by police.

Number of deaths


The number of dead and wounded remains unclear because of the large discrepancies between the different estimates. Some of the early estimates were based on reports of a figure of 2,600 from the Chinese Red Cross. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded.

According to an analysis by Nicholas D. Kristof
Nicholas D. Kristof
Nicholas Donabet Kristof is an American journalist, author, op-ed columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. He has written an op-ed column for The New York Times since November 2001 and is known for bringing to light human rights abuses in Asia and Africa, such as human trafficking and the...

 of The New York Times, "The true number of deaths will probably never be known, and it is possible that thousands of people were killed without leaving evidence behind. But based on the evidence that is now available, it seems plausible that about fifty soldiers and policemen were killed, along with 400 to 800 civilians." An intelligence report received by the Soviet politburo estimated that 3,000 protesters were killed, according to a document found in the Soviet archive.

The Chinese government has maintained that there were no deaths within the square itself, although videos taken there at the time recorded the sound of gunshots. State Council claimed that the basic statistics were: "Five thousand PLA soldiers and officers wounded, and more than two thousand local people (counting students, city people, and protesters together) also wounded." Chinese commentators have pointed out that this obvious imbalance in casualties questions the military competence of the PLA. They also said no one died on Tiananmen Square itself. Yuan Mu, the spokesman of the State Council, said that about 300 soldiers and civilians died, including 23 students from universities in Beijing, along with a number of people he described as "ruffians". According to Chen Xitong
Chen Xitong
Chen Xitong was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and the Mayor of Beijing until he was removed from office on charges of corruption in 1995.-Biography:...

, Beijing mayor, 200 civilians and several dozen soldiers died. Other sources stated that 3,000 civilians and 6,000 soldiers were injured. In May 2007, CPPCC member from Hong Kong, Chang Ka-mun said 300 to 600 people were killed in Tiananmen Square. He echoed that "there were armed thugs who weren't students."

According to The Washington Post first Beijing bureau chief, Jay Mathews: "A few people may have been killed by random shooting on streets near the square, but all verified eyewitness accounts say that the students who remained in the square when troops arrived were allowed to leave peacefully. Hundreds of people, most of them workers and passersby, did die that night, but in a different place and under different circumstances." US ambassador James Lilley's account of the massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

 notes that US State Department diplomats witnessed Chinese troops opening fire on unarmed people and based on visits to hospitals around Beijing a minimum of hundreds had been killed.

A strict focus on the number of deaths within Tiananmen Square itself does not give an accurate picture of the carnage and overall death count, since Chinese civilians were fired on in the streets surrounding Tiananmen Square. In addition, students are reported to have been fired on after they left the Square, especially in the area near the Beijing concert hall.

Estimates of deaths from different sources, in descending order:
  • 10,000 dead (including civilians and soldiers) – Soviet Union.
  • 7,000 deaths – NATO intelligence.
  • 4,000 to 6,000 civilians killed, but no one really knows – Edward Timperlake.
  • Over 3,700 killed, excluding disappearance or secret deaths and those denied medical treatment – PLA defector citing a document circulating among officers.
  • 2,600 had officially died by the morning of 4 June (later denied) – the Chinese Red Cross. An unnamed Chinese Red Cross official estimated that, in total, 5,000 people were killed and 30,000 injured.
  • Closer to 1,000 deaths, according to Amnesty International
    Amnesty International
    Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

     and some of the protest participants, as reported in a Time article. Other statements by Amnesty have characterized the number of deaths as hundreds.
  • 300 to 1,000 according to a Western diplomat that compiled estimates.
  • 400 to 800 plausible according to the New York Times Nicholas D. Kristof
    Nicholas D. Kristof
    Nicholas Donabet Kristof is an American journalist, author, op-ed columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. He has written an op-ed column for The New York Times since November 2001 and is known for bringing to light human rights abuses in Asia and Africa, such as human trafficking and the...

    . He developed this estimate using information from hospital staff and doctors, and from "a medical official with links to most hospitals".
  • 180–500 casualties, according to a declassified NSA document which referred to early casualty estimates.
  • 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded, according to the Chinese government.
  • 186 named individuals confirmed dead at the end of June 2006 – Professor Ding Zilin
    Ding Zilin
    Professor Ding Zilin is currently the leader of the political pressure group Tiananmen Mothers.-Biography:...

     of the Tiananmen Mothers
    Tiananmen Mothers
    The Tiananmen Mothers is a group of Chinese democracy activists promoting a change in the government's position over the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989...

    . The Tiananmen Mothers' list includes some people whose deaths were not directly at the hands of the army, such as a person who committed suicide after the incident on 4 June.

Internal media reporting


The English section of China Radio International
China Radio International
China Radio International , the former Radio Beijing and originally Radio Peking, founded on December 3 of 1941, is one of the three state-owned media in China along with China National Radio and China Central Television in the People's Republic of China .As the PRC's external radio station, CRI...

 (CRI) accurately reported the events on 4 June to the rest of the world. The CRI broadcast “several thousand people, mostly innocent citizens” had been killed by “heavily armed soldiers”. The CRI urged listeners to protest the government’s action.

Shanghai


On 5 June, students marched very quickly on the streets and stopped traffic using roadblocks. Factory workers skipped work and railway traffic was also blocked. Public transport was also suspended early in the morning. According to British Broadcasting Corporation “ten thousand staff members and workers could not get to work on time”.

The next day, The Shanghai Municipal Government sent out 6,500 people to remove the roadblocks. According to reports, “At 8:45 pm the number 161 train from Beijing ran over nine people who had gathered at the spectacle of a blocked locomotive. Five of them died. By 10 pm more than thirty thousand people had gathered at the scene, interrupting rail traffic and creating a disturbance. Protesters beat up the train engineer, set fire to railcars, and prevented fire trucks from entering the site”.

On 7 June,“At Tongji University
Tongji University
Tongji University , colloquially known as Tongji , located in Shanghai, has more than 30,000 students and 8,000 staff members . It offers degree programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels...

, East China Normal University
East China Normal University
East China Normal University , was founded in October 1951 in western Shanghai, on the campus of Great China University. It is the first Normal University founded after the establishment of the People's Republic of China.-History:...

, and Shanghai Polytechnic University, students stormed school auditoriums and classroom buildings, where they erected biers” (meaning a coffin along with its stand). More and more students erected roadblocks and interrupted traffic, and approximately 3,000 students left campus.

On the evening of 7 June, Shanghai Mayor Zhu Rongji
Zhu Rongji
Zhū Róngjī is a prominent Chinese politician who served as the Mayor and Party chief in Shanghai between 1987 and 1991, before serving as Vice-Premier and then the fifth Premier of the People's Republic of China from March 1998 to March 2003.A tough administrator, his time in office saw the...

 gave a televised speech, in which he stated “As mayor, I solemnly declare that neither the Party Committee nor the Municipal Government has considered calling in the army. We have never envisaged military control or martial law; we seek only to stabilize Shanghai, to steady the situation, to insist on production, and to ensure normal life”.

Xi’an


On 5 and 6 June, students marched, set up roadblocks, and stopped workers from entering factories. By 8 June, provincial authorities said that the city had stabilized and called for “restraint of rioters and avoidance of face-to-face confrontation or any escalation of conflict”.

Wuhan


On 5 June, approximately 20,000 students from the University of DongJin marched to Tiananmen Square. Some also blocked the “Yangtze River Railway bridge for eight hours, and another four thousand massed in the square in front of the railway station”. The next day, students continued demonstrating in the streets and stopped traffic. About one thousand students “staged a sit-in on the railroad tracks”. Rail traffic on the Beijing-Guangzhou and Wuhan-Dalian lines was interrupted. The students also urged workers from major enterprises to go on strike.

On the early morning of 7 June students used buses to block traffic; “They held a memorial at Dadongmen and roadblocks were erected at intersections”. A small group of students stopped a freight train and “poured gasoline over the freight cars but were stopped in the nick of time by arriving police”. The situation in the city was tense and residents “withdrew cash and began panic buying”.

Nanjing


On 5, 6 and 7 June , students marched, made speeches, blocked traffic and tried to stop workers from working. On 7 June, “Around 7 am more than four hundred students from four colleges including Hehai University, blocked the Yangtze River bridge with four buses, allowing only mail trucks and ice deliveries to pass”. In the early evening traffic was still blocked. Students from schools including Nanjing University
Nanjing University
Nanjing University , or Nanking University, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China...

 set up “roadblocks at the Zhongyangmen Railway Bridge; not a single train could pass through from 8:40 am until 4 pm, when the students were finally persuaded to evacuate”. Traffic resumed by the end of the day.

On 8 June, students from Nanjing University
Nanjing University
Nanjing University , or Nanking University, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China...

 and Hehai University “retook an overpass one kilometer from the Nanjing Railway Station
Nanjing Railway Station
Nanjing Railway Station is a major railway station of Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. It is located in the northern part of Nanjing's urban core , near Xuanwu Lake.-Services:...

, halting traffic”. Students also staged “a sit-in at the south end of the highway section of the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge
The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the first bridge to be built across the Yangtze River in Nanjing, China. It was completed in 1968 and is the first double-decker, double-track highway and railway bridge designed and constructed by the Chinese without outside engineering assistance.After the...

 and at the Zhongyangmen section of the Beijing Shanghai rail line”. The Jiangsu Provincial Party informed the students that the situation was way out of control, and stated that Public Security would punish the people responsible.

Deng Xiaoping’s appearance on 9 June


On 9 June, Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 appeared in public for the first time since the protests began. He started the meeting by recognizing the “martyrs” (PLA soldiers who had died). In the meeting Deng stated that the goal of the movement was to overthrow the Party and the state. “Their goal is to establish a totally Western-dependent bourgeois republic,” Deng said of the protesters. Deng argued that protesters had complained about corruption to cover their real motive, which was to replace the socialist system.
He said that "the entire imperialist Western world plans to make all socialist countries discard the socialist road and then bring them under the monopoly of international capital and onto the capitalist road".

International reaction


The events at Tiananmen were the first of their type shown in detail on Western television. The Chinese government's response was denounced, particularly by Western governments and media. Criticism came from both Western
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and Eastern Europe, North America, Australia and some east Asian and Latin American countries. Notably, many Asian countries remained silent throughout the protests; the government of India responded to the massacre by ordering the state television to pare down the coverage to the barest minimum, so as not to jeopardize a thawing in relations with China, and to offer political empathy for the events. North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Cuba, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, and East Germany, among others, supported the Chinese government and denounced the protests. Overseas Chinese students demonstrated in many cities in Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia.

Arrests and persecution of student leaders


Wu Guoguang
Wu Guoguang
Wu Guoguang is a native of Shandong Province, a renowned Chinese scholar, and a member of the Office for Restructuring Central Politics during the tenure of Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang.-Education:...

, former aide to Zhao Ziyang was quoted as saying that the account of 38th Army commander Maj. Gen. Xu's revealed for the first time that the Central Military Commission issued verbal orders fearing written records of the crackdown would go down in history; he said this suggested they knew the action was unlawful. Chinese authorities summarily tried and executed many of the workers they arrested in Beijing. In contrast, the students – many of whom came from relatively affluent backgrounds and were well-connected – received much lighter sentences. Wang Dan
Wang Dan
Wang Dan , a leader of the Chinese democracy movement, was one of the most visible of the student leaders in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Wang holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. From August 2009 to February 2010, Wang taught cross-strait history at Taiwan's National...

, the student leader who topped the most wanted list, spent seven years in prison. Many of the students and university staff implicated were permanently politically stigmatized, some never to be employed again. Some dissidents were able to escape to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and other Western nations under Operation Yellowbird
Operation Yellowbird
Operation Yellowbird or Operation Siskin , was a Hong Kong-based operation to help the Chinese dissidents who participated in Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 to escape arrest by the PRC government by facilitating their departure overseas via Hong Kong.After China's government announced the ...

 that was organized from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, a British territory at the time.

Smaller protest actions continued in other cities for a few days. Some university staff and students who had witnessed the killings in Beijing organised or spurred commemorative events upon their return to school. At Shanghai's prestigious Jiaotong University
Jiaotong University
Jiaotong University, Jiao Tong University or Chiao Tung University , located at Shanghai, Tangshan and Peking during the early period of twentieth century, was the predecessor of the following universities:...

, for example, the party secretary organised a public commemoration event, with engineering students producing a large metal wreath. However, these commemorations were quickly put down, with those responsible being put to death by firing squad.

During and after the demonstration, the authorities attempted to arrest and prosecute the student leaders of the Chinese democracy movement
Chinese democracy movement
The Chinese democracy movement refers to a series of loosely organized political movements in the People's Republic of China against the continued one-party rule by the Communist Party. One such movement began during the Beijing Spring in 1978 and was taken up again in the Tiananmen Square...

, notably Wang Dan, Chai Ling, Zhao Changqing
Zhao Changqing
Zhao Changqing, a history teacher and political activist in the People’s Republic of China.-Biography:Zhao hails from a small village in Shaanxi province, China...

 and Wuer Kaixi. Wang Dan was arrested, convicted and sent to prison, then allowed to emigrate to the United States on the grounds of medical parole. As a lesser figure in the demonstrations, Zhao was released after six months in prison. However, he was once again incarcerated for continuing to petition for political reform in China. Wuer Kaixi escaped to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. He is married and holds a job as a political commentator on Taiwanese national radio. Chai Ling escaped to France, and then to the United States. In a public speech given at the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

 in November 2007, Wang Dan commented on the current status of former student leaders: Chai Ling started a hi-tech company in the US, while Li Lu
Li Lu
Li Lu is a Chinese-American investment banker and fund manager. He is the founder and Chairman of Himalaya Capital Management...

 became an investment banker in Wall Street
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 and started a company. Wang Dan said his plan was to find an academic job in the US after receiving his PhD from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. Chai Ling has since started an organization devoted to helping women in China and to fighting China's One Child Policy. The organization is called All Girls Allowed (at: allgirlsallowed.org.)

Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao were arrested
Arrest and trial of Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao
Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao were arrested in late 1989 for their involvement in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Chinese authorities alleged they were the “black hands” behind the movement. Both Chen and Wang rejected the allegations made against them...

 in late 1989 for their involvement in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Chinese authorities alleged they were the “black hands” behind the movement. Both Chen and Wang rejected the allegations made against them. They were put on trial in 1990 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

High-level political changes


To purge sympathizers of Tiananmen demonstrators, the Communist Party initiated a one and half year long program similar to Anti-Rightist Movement
Anti-Rightist Movement
The Anti-Rightist Movement of the People's Republic of China in the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of a series of campaigns to purge alleged "rightists" within the Communist Party of China and abroad...

. It aimed to deal "strictly with those inside the party with serious tendencies toward bourgeois liberalization". Four million people were reportedly investigated for their role in the protests. Furthermore, more than 30,000 communist officers were deployed to assess political reliability of more than one million government officials. The authorities arrested tens if not hundreds of thousands people across the country. Some were seized at broad daylight while they walked on streets, others were captured at night. Many were jailed or sent to labor camps. They were often denied access to see their families and often put in cells so crowded that not everyone had space to sleep. Dissidents shared cells with murderers and rapists, and torture was not uncommon.

The Party leadership expelled Zhao Ziyang from the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China is a committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, whose membership varies between 5 and 9 people. The inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are...

 (PSC), because he opposed martial law, and Zhao remained under house arrest until his death. Hu Qili
Hu Qili
Hu Qili is a politician of the People's Republic of China.-Biography:In 1948 at the age of 19, Hu joined the Communist Party of China . He studied at Peking University from 1946-1951...

, a PSC
Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China is a committee consisting of the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, whose membership varies between 5 and 9 people. The inner workings of the PSC are not well known, although it is believed that decisions of the PSC are...

 member who opposed the martial law but abstained from voting, was also removed from the committee. He was, however, able to retain his party membership, and after "changing his opinion", was reassigned as deputy minister of Machine-Building and Electronics Industry. Another reform-minded Chinese leader, Wan Li
Wan Li
Wan Li was during a long administrative career in the People's Republic of China Vice Premier, National People's Congress Chairman, and a member of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, its Secretariat and its Politburo...

, was also put under house arrest immediately after he stepped out of his plane at Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport
Beijing Capital International Airport, is the main international airport serving Beijing, China. It is located northeast of Beijing's city center in an enclave of Chaoyang District that is surrounded by rural Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital...

 upon returning from his shortened trip abroad, with the official excuse of "health reasons." When Wan Li was released from his house arrest after he finally "changed his opinion" he, like Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi
Qiao Shi is a politician in the People's Republic of China. He was born as Jiang Zhitong , to parents of Dinghai, Zhejiang province ancestry. He is said to be distantly related to Chiang Kai-shek's family and this was the cause for the persecution he suffered during the Cultural Revolution...

, was transferred to a different position with equal rank but mostly ceremonial role. Several Chinese ambassadors abroad claimed political asylum.

The event elevated Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin is a former Chinese politician, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002, as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003, and as Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 2005...

 – then Party Secretary of Shanghai – to become the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China , officially General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is the highest ranking official within the Communist Party of China, a standing member of the Politburo and head of the Secretariat...

. Jiang's decisive actions in Shanghai, in closing down reform-leaning publications and preventing deadly violence, won him support from party elders in Beijing. Members of the government prepared a white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...

 explaining the government's viewpoint on the protests. An anonymous source within the PRC government smuggled the document out of China, and Public Affairs published it in January 2001 as the Tiananmen Papers
Tiananmen Papers
The Tiananmen Papers was first published in English in January 2001 by PublicAffairs. The extended Chinese version of this book was published in April that same year under the title 中國六四真相 by Mirror Books in Hong Kong...

. The papers include a quote by Communist Party elder Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen was a Chinese political figure and one of the Eight Immortals of the Communist Party of China.-Early years:Like most Chinese communist leaders, Wang was a commander in his early years...

 which alludes to the government's response to the demonstrations.

Media and discourse


State media mostly gave reports sympathetic to the students in the immediate aftermath. As a result, those responsible were all later removed. Two news anchors who reported this event on 4 June in the daily 1900 hours (7:00 pm) news report on China Central Television
China Central Television
China Central Television or Chinese Central Television, commonly abbreviated as CCTV, is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 19 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers...

 were fired because they showed their sad emotions. Wu Xiaoyong, the son of a Communist Party of China Central Committee member, and former PRC foreign minister and vice premier Wu Xueqian
Wu Xueqian
Wu Xueqian was the former Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China.-Biography:Wu Xueqian was born in Shanghai in 1921. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1939....

 were removed from the English Program Department of Chinese Radio International. Editors and other staff at the People's Daily (the newspaper of the Communist Party of China), including its director Qian Liren
Qian Liren
-Early life:Born in 1924 in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, Qian had family origins in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, and is a documented descendant of the kings of Wuyue...

 and Editor-in-Chief Tan Wenrui, were also removed from their posts because of reports in the paper which were sympathetic towards the students. Several editors were arrested, with Wu Xuecan, who organised the publication of an unauthorised Extra edition, sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

Journalist Rob Gifford
Rob Gifford
Rob Gifford is a British-born radio correspondent. He has degrees in Chinese Studies from Durham University and in Regional Studies from Harvard University. He began to learn Mandarin Chinese in 1987 whilst in China....

 said that much of the political freedoms and debate that occurred post-Mao and pre-Tiananmen ended after Tiananmen. For instance, some of the authors of the film River Elegy
River Elegy
River Elegy was a six-part documentary shown on China Central Television in 1988 that announced the death of traditional Chinese culture.- Synopsis :...

(He Shang) were arrested, and some of the authors fled mainland China. Gifford concluded that "China the concept, China the empire, China the construct of two thousand years of imperial thinking" has forbidden and may always forbid "independent thinking" as that would lead to the questioning of China's political system. Gifford added that people born after 1970 had "near-complete depoliticization" while older intellectuals no longer focus on political change and instead focus on economic reform.

International image


The Tiananmen Square protests damaged the reputation of the PRC internationally, particularly in the West. Western media had been invited to cover the Sino-Soviet summit in May and were thus in an excellent position to cover some of the military action live through networks such as the BBC and CNN. Protesters seized this opportunity, creating signs and banners designed for international television audiences. Coverage was further facilitated by the sharp conflicts within the Chinese government about how to handle the protests. Thus, broadcasting was not immediately stopped.

All international networks were eventually ordered to terminate broadcasts from the city during the military action, with the government shutting down the satellite transmissions. Broadcasters attempted to defy these orders by reporting via telephone. Footage was quickly smuggled out of the country, including the image of "the unknown rebel." The only network which was able to record some images during the night was Televisión Española
Televisión Española
Televisión Española is the national state-owned public-service television broadcaster in Spain. TVE's activities were previously financed by a combination of advertising revenue and subsidies from the national government, but since it's been supported by subsidies only.TVE belongs to the RTVE...

 of Spain (TVE).

CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 correspondent Richard Roth and his cameraman were imprisoned during the military action. Roth was taken into custody while in the midst of filing a report from the Square via mobile phone. In a frantic voice, he could be heard repeatedly yelling what sounded like "Oh, no! Oh, no!" before the phone was disconnected. He was later released, suffering a slight injury to his face in a scuffle with Chinese authorities attempting to confiscate his phone. Roth later explained he had actually been telling police, "I'll go! I'll go!"

Images of the protests would strongly shape Western views and policy toward the PRC throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century. There was considerable sympathy for the student protests among Chinese students in the West. Almost immediately, both the United States and the European Union announced an official arms embargo, and China's image as a reforming country and a valuable ally against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was replaced by that of a repressive authoritarian regime
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

. The Tiananmen protests were frequently invoked to argue against trade liberalization
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

 with mainland China and by the United States' Blue Team as evidence that the PRC government was an aggressive threat to world peace and US interests.

Meanwhile, state media was ordered to focus on dead soldiers, screening images often on television. Among overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 students, the Tiananmen Square protests triggered the formation of Internet news services such as the China News Digest and the NGO China Support Network
China Support Network
The China Support Network is a U.S.-based organization promoting democracy for mainland China. CSN provides news, commentary, information and analysis on events, issues, demonstrations and government policy related to their cause...

. In the aftermath of Tiananmen, organizations such as the China Alliance for Democracy and the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars
Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars
The Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars was founded on August 1, 1989, when over 1000 Chinese student representatives from more than 200 major U.S. universities held their First Congress of Chinese Students and Scholars in USA at the University of Illinois at Chicago and...

 were formed, although these organizations would have limited political impact beyond the mid-1990s.

Domestic political trends


Despite early expectations in the West that PRC government would soon collapse and be replaced by the democratic governance, the Communist Party of China maintained its grip on power, and the student movement which started at Tiananmen was in complete disarray.
In Hong Kong, the Tiananmen square protests led to fears that the PRC would renege on its commitments under one country, two systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

 following the impending handover in 1997, leading the new governor Chris Patten
Chris Patten
Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC , is the last Governor of British Hong Kong, a former British Conservative politician, and the current chairman of the BBC Trust....

 to attempt to expand the franchise for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
The Legislative Council is the unicameral legislature of Hong Kong.-History:The Legislative Council of Hong Kong was set up in 1843 as a colonial legislature under British rule...

 which led to friction with the PRC. There have been large candlelight vigils attended by tens of thousands in Hong Kong every year since 1989 and these vigils have continued following the transfer of power to the PRC in 1997.

The protests also marked a shift in the political convention
Political convention
In politics, a political convention is a meeting of a political party, typically to select party candidates.In the United States, a political convention usually refers to a presidential nominating convention, but it can also refer to state, county, or congressional district nominating conventions...

s which governed politics in the People's Republic. Prior to the protests, under the 1982 Constitution
Constitution of the People's Republic of China
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China is the highest law within the People's Republic of China. The current version was adopted by the 5th National People's Congress on December 4, 1982 with further revisions in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004. Three previous state constitutions—those of...

, the President was a largely symbolic role. By convention, power was distributed between the positions of President, Premier, and the CPC General Secretary, all of whom were intended to be different people
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 to prevent the excesses of Mao
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

-style dictatorship. However, after President Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun
Yang Shangkun was President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993, and was permanent Vice-chair of the Central Military Commission...

 used his reserve powers as Vice-chairman of Central Military Commission to mobilize the military, the Presidency again became a position imbued with real power. Subsequently, the President became the same person as the Party General Secretary, and wielded paramount power
Paramount leader
Paramount leader literally "the highest leader of the party and the state ", in modern Chinese political science, unofficially refers to the political leader of the People's Republic of China....

.

In 1989, neither the Chinese military nor the Beijing police had adequate anti-riot gear, such as rubber bullets and tear gas commonly used in Western nations to break up riots. After the Tiananmen Square protests, riot police in Chinese cities were equipped with non-lethal equipment for riot control.

Economic impact


There was a significant impact on the Chinese economy after the incident. Foreign loans to China were suspended by the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia...

, and governments; tourism revenue decreased from US$2.2 billion to US$1.8 billion; foreign direct investment commitments were cancelled and there was a rise in defense spending from 8.6% in 1986, to 15.5% in 1990, reversing a previous 10 year decline. The Chinese Premier Li Peng visited the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 on 31 January 1992, and argued that the economic and arms embargoes on China were a violation of national sovereignty.

In the immediate aftermath of the protests, some within the Chinese government attempted to curtail free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 reforms that had been undertaken as part of Chinese economic reform
Chinese economic reform
The Chinese economic reform refers to the program of economic reforms called "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" in the People's Republic of China that were started in December 1978 by reformists within the Communist Party of China led by Deng Xiaoping.China had one of the world's largest...

 and reinstitute administrative economic controls. However, these efforts met with stiff resistance from provincial governors and broke down completely in the early 1990s as a result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Deng Xiaoping's trip to the south. The continuance of economic reform led to economic growth in the 1990s, which allowed the government to regain much of the support that it had lost in 1989. In addition, none of the current PRC leadership played any active role in the decision to move against the demonstrators, and one major leadership figure Premier Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao
Wen Jiabao is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, serving as China's head of government and leading its cabinet. In his capacity as Premier, Wen is regarded as the leading figure behind China's economic policy...

 was Director of the Central Party Office and accompanied Zhao Ziyang to meet the demonstrators.

The protest leaders at Tiananmen were unable to produce a coherent movement or ideology that would last past the mid-1990s. Many of the student leaders came from relatively "well-off" sectors of society and were seen as out of touch with common people. A number of them were socialists. Many of the organizations which were started in the aftermath of Tiananmen soon fell apart due to personal infighting. Several overseas democracy activists were supportive of limiting trade with mainland China, which significantly decreased their popularity both within China and among the overseas Chinese community. A number of NGOs based in the US, which aim to bring democratic reform to China and relentlessly protest human rights violations that occur in China
Human rights in the People's Republic of China
Human rights in the People's Republic of China are a matter of dispute between the Chinese government, other countries, international NGOs, and dissidents inside the country. Organizations such as the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have accused the Chinese...

, remain. One of the oldest and most prominent of them, the China Support Network
China Support Network
The China Support Network is a U.S.-based organization promoting democracy for mainland China. CSN provides news, commentary, information and analysis on events, issues, demonstrations and government policy related to their cause...

 (CSN), was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned US and Chinese activists in response to Tiananmen Square.

WikiLeaks Tiananmen cables


On 4 June 2011 WikiLeaks
Wikileaks
WikiLeaks is an international self-described not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organisation, claimed a database of more...

 published 5 cables sent to Washington by the US embassy in Beijing. The State Department had already declassified parts of the cables in the late 1990s.

Forbidden topic in mainland China


The Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC) does not allow discussion of the Tiananmen Square protests as it is considered taboo. The CPC has taken measures to block or censor information. Textbooks reportedly have little, if any, information related to the protests. Access to media and internet resources on the subject are restricted or blocked by censors.

The CPC’s official stance towards the incident is that its actions were necessary in order to control a 'political disturbance' and helped to ensure stability and economic success. President Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang...

 reiterated this stance during a visit to France in 2004, stating that "the government took determined action to calm the political storm of 1989, and enabled China to enjoy a stable development." President Hu stated that the government would not change its view on the protests. An overview of the political decisions by the CPC leadership during the protests is available through a collection of documents compiled in a book titled the Tiananmen Papers
Tiananmen Papers
The Tiananmen Papers was first published in English in January 2001 by PublicAffairs. The extended Chinese version of this book was published in April that same year under the title 中國六四真相 by Mirror Books in Hong Kong...

. However, the authenticity of these documents is contested by the CPC.

The public memory of the Tiananmen Square protests has been suppressed by the CPC since 1989. Print media containing reference to the protests must be consistent with the government’s version of events. As of 2009, internet users in China who search for '4 June' on search engines have the results censored. If a user attempts to access an English language version of the Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 search engine in China, they are redirected to the Chinese version where the results of '4 June' are not related to the massacre. The Chinese-language versions of Wikipedia and YouTube are not censored, however, access to these websites are blocked in China. Presently, many Chinese citizens are reluctant to speak about the protests due to the possibility of repercussions such as jail time. However, some individuals do publicly speak out such as Ding Zilin
Ding Zilin
Professor Ding Zilin is currently the leader of the political pressure group Tiananmen Mothers.-Biography:...

, and organizations like Tiananmen Mothers
Tiananmen Mothers
The Tiananmen Mothers is a group of Chinese democracy activists promoting a change in the government's position over the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989...

. In 2007, several Chengdu Wanbao newspaper staff were fired after failing to recognize an advertisement that had paid tribute to the mothers of victims of the massacre. The clerk that was in charge of approving advertisements allegedly did not recognize the meaning of the advertisement because she was too young.

Leading up to and during the 20th anniversary of the massacre on 4 June 2009, the CPC increased security around the square. Members of the Public Security Bureau
Public Security Bureau
In the People's Republic of China, a public security bureau refers to the government offices while the smaller offices are called Police posts which are similar in concept to the Japanese Kōban system) present in each province and municipality that handles policing , public security, and...

 and the People’s Armed Police were present during the 20th anniversary at the square in uniform along with several hundred plain clothes officers. Tourists were allowed into the square during the anniversary but were subject to having their bags searched. Journalists however, were denied entry into the square. Journalists were prevented from reporting on protest related issues through the media and internet. Journalists who attempted to film at the square or interview dissidents were briefly detained. They were also barred from filming the raising of the Chinese flag. Also leading up to the 20th anniversary the CPC began to censor internet websites and social networking services such as Twitter, Flickr
Flickr
Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...

 and Hotmail
Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail, formerly known as MSN Hotmail and commonly referred to simply as Hotmail, is a free web-based email service operated by Microsoft as part of its Windows Live group. It was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith and launched in July 1996 as "HoTMaiL". It was one of the first...

. It has also been reported that issues of The Financial Times and The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

 containing articles about the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre had the pages ripped out. Staff at a Chinese TV station were suspended from their jobs because they allowed footage of the Tank Man
Tank Man
Tank Man, or the Unknown Rebel, is the nickname of an anonymous man who stood in front of a column of Chinese Type 59 tanks the morning after the Chinese military forcibly removed protestors from in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The man achieved widespread international...

 and a Hong Kong candlelight vigil for the 20th anniversary of the protests be broadcast in the mainland. Hong Kong is the only Chinese territory where people are permitted to demonstrate about the massacre.

Dissidents in Beijing were told to leave the city or were forced to stay inside their homes. Others were temporarily relocated to other areas of the country. They were told not to speak to media, write articles, give interviews or organize demonstrations about the anniversary and have been closely monitored by authorities. Foreign journalists are also monitored in order to prevent contact with dissidents. Dissidents who fled the country after 1989 were denied entry into Hong Kong and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

 for the 20th anniversary.

Over the years some Chinese citizens have called for a reassessment of the protests and compensation from the government to victims’ families. One group in particular, Tiananmen Mothers
Tiananmen Mothers
The Tiananmen Mothers is a group of Chinese democracy activists promoting a change in the government's position over the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989...

, seeks compensation, vindication for victims and the right to receive donations from within the mainland and abroad. Zhang Shijun, a former soldier who was involved in the military crackdown, had published an open letter to President Hu Jintao seeking to have the government reevaluate its position on the protests. He was subsequently arrested and taken from his home.

Censored books, films and TV shows in mainland China

  • Political Struggles in China's Reform Era by Yang Jisheng
    Yang Jisheng
    Yang Jisheng is a Chinese journalist and author of Tombstone , a comprehensive account of the Great Chinese Famine during the Great Leap Forward. Yang joined the Communist Party in 1964 and graduated from Tsinghua University in 1966. He promptly joined Xinhua News Agency, where he worked until...

    , for featuring secret interviews with Zhao Ziyang
    Zhao Ziyang
    Zhao Ziyang was a high-ranking politician in the People's Republic of China . He was the third Premier of the People's Republic of China from 1980 to 1987, and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1987 to 1989....

     and rejecting the Chinese government's position on the protests.
  • In 2006, the novel Forbidden City
    Forbidden City (novel)
    Forbidden City is a novel based on the events of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. It is a story of maturation/bildungsroman/coming of age.-Plot:...

    , by William Bell, a fictionalised version of the protests, was banned.

  • Summer Palace
    Summer Palace (film)
    Summer Palace , is a 2006 Chinese film and the fourth feature film by director Lou Ye. The film was a Chinese-French collaboration produced by Dream Factory, Laurel Films, Fantasy Pictures and Sylvain Bursztejn's Rosem Films...

    was banned in 2006, ostensibly because it was screened without permission, but likely also because of its mention of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
  • Collection of June Fourth Poems
    Collection of June Fourth Poems
    Collection of June Fourth Poems: Commemorating the Tiananmen Square Protest is an anthology of poems commemorating the June Fourth protests in China . The poems were written by victims, exiled activists and international supporters...

    , a collection of poems about the protests.
  • Writings or interviews with Zhao Ziyang or Bao Tong
    Bao Tong
    Bao Tong was former Director of the Office of Political Reform of the CPC Central Committee and the Policy Secretary of Zhao Ziyang, Premier of the State Council, from 1980 to 1985. He was also Director of the Drafting Committee for the CCP 13th Party Congresses, known for its strong support for...

     are banned. As such,
    Conversations with Zhao Ziyang in House Arrest by Zong Fengmin was not published due to government pressure. However, Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang
    Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang
    Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang is a 360-page book in English published in May 2009 containing the memoirs of People's Republic of China's former communist leader who was sacked after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. It is based on a series of about 30 audio...

     was published in May 2009 after tapes were smuggled out of China.
  • International media programs mentioning the event or anniversaries are blacked out in broadcasts, such as CNN available in Chinese hotels and homes for foreigners.

History deleted inside mainland China


Following the protests, officials banned controversial films and books, and shut down a large number of newspapers. Within one year, 12 percent of all newspapers, 8 percent of publishing companies, 13 percent of social science periodicals and more than 150 films were banned or shut down. In addition to this, the government also announced it had seized 32 million contraband books and 2.4 million video and audio cassettes.

Currently, due to strong Chinese government censorship
Censorship in the People's Republic of China
Censorship in the People's Republic of China is implemented or mandated by the PRC's ruling party, the Communist Party of China . The special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau have their own legal systems and are largely self-governing, so these censorship policies do not apply...

 including Internet censorship
Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China
Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. There are no specific laws or regulations which the censorship follows...

, the news media are forbidden to report anything related to the protests. Websites related to the protest are blocked on the mainland. A search for Tiananmen Square protest information on the Internet in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 largely returns no results, apart from the government-mandated version of the events and the official view, which are mostly found on Websites of People's Daily and other heavily-controlled media.

In January 2006, Google agreed to censor their mainland China site, Google.cn, to remove information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

. When people searched for those topics, it listed on the page in Chinese, "According to local laws and regulations and policies, some search results are not displayed." Google withdrew its cooperation with this censorship in January 2010. The uncensored Wikipedia articles on the 1989 protests, both in English and Chinese Wikipedia
Chinese Wikipedia
Chinese Wikipedia is the Chinese language edition of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation. Started in October 2002, Chinese Wikipedia had over 270,000 articles as of September 2009 and 383,391 articles as of November 7, 2011...

, have been attributed as a cause of the blocking of Wikipedia
Blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China
On several occasions, the government and Internet service providers of the People's Republic of China have blocked access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia due to strict censorship laws enacted by the PRC. The blocks function in a similar way to a content filter...

 by the government in mainland China. The ban of Wikipedia in mainland China was subsequently lifted (except for visual media such as photographs), but the link to this incident in Chinese Wikipedia remains dead.

In 2006, the American PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 program "Frontline" broadcast a segment filmed at Peking University
Peking University
Peking University , colloquially known in Chinese as Beida , is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the...

, many of whose students participated in the 1989 protests. Four present-day students were shown a picture of the Tank Man, but none of them could identify what was happening in the photo. Some responded that it was a military parade, or an artwork.

On 15 May 2007, Ma Lik
Ma Lik
Ma Lik, GBS, JP , was a Legislative Councillor, and was the Chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong , a pro-Beijing political party in Hong Kong.-Education:...

, the leader of the main loyalist political party in Hong Kong, provoked much criticism when he said that "there was not a massacre" during the protests, as there was "no intentional and indiscriminate shooting." He said Hong Kong was "not mature enough" for democracy for believing foreigners' rash claims that a massacre took place. He said that Hong Kong showed through its lack of patriotism and national identity that it would thus "not be ready for democracy until 2022." His remarks were met with wide condemnation from the public. He later acknowledged he might have been "rash and frivolous" with his comments but insisted that it was not a massacre.

On 4 June 2007, the anniversary of the massacre, a notice reading, "Paying tribute to the strongwilled mothers of 64" was published in the Chengdu Evening News newspaper. The matter was investigated by the Chinese government, and three editors were fired from the paper. The clerk who approved the ad had reportedly never heard of 4 June military action and had been told that the date was a reference to a mining disaster.

In late April 2009, Internet access to English-language media on the events at Tiananmen, including video, news reports and Wikipedia, was uncensored in mainland China for the first time. Articles were still mostly censored on the Chinese version of Google, though some videos were viewable. Additionally, filming in Tiananmen Square on the 20th anniversary of the 1989 protests was discouraged by plainclothes police officers wielding umbrellas and stepping in front of the cameras of journalists near the square.

EU-US arms embargo


The European Union and United States embargo on armament sales to the PRC, put in place as a result of the violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, still remains in place. The PRC has been calling for a lifting of the ban for many years and has had a varying amount of support from members of the Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

. In early 2004, France spearheaded a movement within the EU to lift the ban. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, and was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, and before becoming Chancellor...

 publicly added his voice to that of former French President Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 to have the embargo lifted.

The arms embargo was discussed at a PRC-EU summit in the Netherlands between 7 and 9 December 2004. In the run-up to the summit, the PRC had attempted to increase pressure on the EU Council to lift the ban by warning that the ban could hurt PRC-EU relations. PRC Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui had called the ban "outdated", and he told reporters, "If the ban is maintained, bilateral relations will definitely be affected." In the end, the EU Council did not lift the ban. EU spokeswoman Françoise le Bail said there were still concerns about the PRC's commitment to human rights. But at the time, the EU did state a commitment to work towards lifting the ban.

The PRC continued to press for the embargo to be lifted, and some member states began to drop their opposition. Jacques Chirac pledged to have the ban lifted by mid-2005. However, the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China
Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China
The Anti-Secession Law is a law of the People's Republic of China. It was passed by the third conference of the 10th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China . It was ratified on March 14, 2005, and went into effect immediately. Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of...

 passing in March 2005 increased cross-strait tensions, damaging attempts to lift the ban, and several EU Council members changed their minds. Members of the U.S. Congress had also proposed restrictions on the transfer of military technology to the EU if they lifted the ban. Thus the EU Council failed to reach a consensus, and although France and Germany pushed to have the embargo lifted, the embargo was maintained.

Britain took charge of the EU Presidency in July 2005, making the lifting of the embargo all but impossible for the duration of that period. Britain had always had some reservations on lifting the ban and wished to put it to the side, rather than sour EU-US relations further. Other issues such as the failure of the European Constitution
Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe , , was an unratified international treaty intended to create a consolidated constitution for the European Union...

 and the ensuing disagreement over the European Budget and Common Agricultural Policy
Common Agricultural Policy
The Common Agricultural Policy is a system of European Union agricultural subsidies and programmes. It represents 48% of the EU's budget, €49.8 billion in 2006 ....

 superseded the matter of the embargo in importance. Britain wanted to use its presidency to push for wholesale reform of the EU, so the lifting of the ban became even more unlikely. The election of José Manuel Barroso as European Commission President
President of the European Commission
The President of the European Commission is the head of the European Commission ― the executive branch of the :European Union ― the most powerful officeholder in the EU. The President is responsible for allocating portfolios to members of the Commission and can reshuffle or dismiss them if needed...

 also made a lifting of the ban more difficult. At a meeting with Chinese leaders in mid-July 2005, he said that China's poor record on human rights would slow any changes to the EU's ban on arms sales to China.

Political will also changed in countries that had previously been more in favor of lifting the embargo. On 22 November 2005, Schröder, who supported lifting, lost the 2005 German federal election
German federal election, 2005
German federal elections took place on 18 September 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. They became necessary after a motion of confidence in Chancellor Gerhard Schröder failed on 1 July...

 to Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

, who was strongly against lifting the ban; Outgoing French President Jacques Chirac was succeeded by Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

. As both were in favour of lifting the embargo, the French foreign policy on this matter remained unchanged.

In addition, the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 has consistently opposed the lifting of the arms embargo to the PRC. Though its agreement is not necessary for lifting the ban, many argue it reflects the will of the European people better as it is the only directly elected European body–the EU Council is appointed by member states. The European Parliament has repeatedly opposed any lifting of the arms embargo on the PRC:
  • The resolution of 28 April 2005, on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004 and the EU's policy on the matter,
  • The resolution of 23 October 2003, on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP, it insisted on a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue through dialogue across the Taiwan Strait
    Taiwan Strait
    The Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait, formerly known as the Black Ditch, is a 180-km-wide strait separating Mainland China and Taiwan. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to East China Sea to the northeast...

    s and called on China to withdraw missiles in the coastal provinces adjacent to the Taiwan Straits, and
  • The resolution on relations between the EU, China and Taiwan and security in the Far East of 7 July 2005. The EP has noted several times that the current human rights situation in China, with regards to fundamental civil, cultural and political freedoms does not meet even the international standards recognized by China.


The arms embargo has limited China's options from where it may seek military hardware. Among the sources that were sought included the former Soviet bloc that it had a strained relationship with as a result of the Sino-Soviet split
Sino-Soviet split
In political science, the term Sino–Soviet split denotes the worsening of political and ideologic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War...

. Other willing suppliers have previously included Israel and South Africa, but American pressure has restricted future co-operation.

Compensation


Although the Chinese government never officially acknowledged wrongdoing when it came to the incident, in April 2006 a payment was made to the mother of one of the victims, the first publicized case of the government offering redress to a Tiananmen-related victim's family. The payment was termed a "hardship assistance", given to Tang Deying (唐德英) whose son, Zhou Guocong died at the age of 15 while in police custody in Chengdu
Chengdu
Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

 on 6 June 1989, two days after the Chinese Army dispersed the Tiananmen protesters. She was reportedly paid CNY70,000 (approximately $10,250 USD). This has been welcomed by various Chinese activists, but was regarded by some as a measure to maintain social stability and not believed to herald a changing of the Party's official position.

United Nations report


The Committee Against Torture met for its forty-first session from 3–21 November 2008 to consider reports submitted by member states under article 19 of the Convention. The Committee found that China’s response to the 1989 Democracy movement was worrying. The Committee was concerned that despite the multiple requests by relatives of people "killed, arrested or disappeared on or following the 4 June 1989 Beijing suppression," there was a lack of investigations into these matters. It was also concerned with the failure of the Chinese Government to inform families of the fate of relatives involved, and it regretted that those responsible for the use of excessive force have not “faced any sanction, administrative or criminal." The Committee recommended that:

The State party should conduct a full and impartial investigation
into the suppression of the Democracy Movement in Beijing in June
1989, provide information on the persons who are still detained from
that period, inform the family members of their findings, offer apologies
and reparation as appropriate and prosecute those found responsible for
excessive use of force, torture and other illtreatment.

In December 2009 the Chinese Government responded to the Committee’s recommendations. It stated that the government had closed the case concerning the “political turmoil in the spring and summer of 1989." It also stated that the “practice of the past 20 years has made it clear that the timely and decisive measures taken by the Chinese Government at the time were necessary and correct." It claimed that the labelling of the “incident as ‘the Democracy Movement’” is a “distortion of the nature of the incident." According to the Chinese Government these observations were “inconsistent with the Committee’s responsibilities."

Cultural references



Songs


This event has inspired many references within lyrics and album art – both in political and non-political usages. In May 1989, Hong Kong artists/celebrities (including Andy Lau
Andy Lau
Andy Lau MH, JP is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer, actor, and film producer. Lau has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s, performing in more than 160 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time...

, Sally Yeh
Sally Yeh
Sally Yeh , sometimes written as Sally Yip or Yip Sin-Man, is a Cantopop singer in the Hong Kong music industry and an actress in the Hong Kong film industry.-Overview:...

, Roman Tam
Roman Tam
Roman Tam, known by the stage name Lo Man , nickname Law Kee , was a renowned Hong Kong Cantopop singer. He is regarded as the "Godfather of Cantopop".-Career:...

, Andy Hui
Andy Hui
Andy Hui Chi-On is a Hong Kong singer and film actor. Hui was the First Runner-up in the 5th Annual New Talent Singing Awards in 1986. Hui has appeared in about 25 films....

, Maria Cordero
Maria Cordero
Maria Cordero, MH is a singer, actress and chef from Macau. She also has her own cooking show, Maria's Kitchen on Cable TV. Her fans nicknamed her "Fat Mama" .- Biography :...

) gathered to record the song "為自由" ("For Liberty") in support of the Tiananmen protesters.

The second music video for Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

's song They Don't Care About Us
They Don't Care About Us
"They Don't Care About Us" is the fourth single from Michael Jackson's album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, released on April 1, 1996. The song remains one of the most controversial pieces Jackson ever composed...

 contains a video clip of the Tank Man standing in front of the tanks at the beginning of the song. The British rock band The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

, during a concert in Rome on 4 June 1989, dedicated their last encore, "Faith," to "everyone that died today in China." In the same year, Joan Baez
Joan Baez
Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

 wrote and recorded her folk anthem "China
Speaking of Dreams
Speaking of Dreams was a 1989 album by Joan Baez that mixed personal compositions like the title song with political statements like "China", which was inspired by the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989...

" to commemorate the democratic revolt. In 1990, on the first anniversary of the massacre, folk singer Phillip Morgan released the single "Blood is on the Square", which discusses the protests and massacre.Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships...

's song "Democracy" from his 1992 album The Future states that democracy is coming "from those nights in Tiananmen Square".

Progressive rock group Marillion
Marillion
Marillion are a British rock band, formed in Aylesbury, England in 1979. Their recorded studio output comprises sixteen albums generally regarded in two distinct eras, delineated by the departure of original vocalist & frontman Fish in late 1988, and the subsequent arrival of replacement Steve...

 wrote a song titled "The King of Sunset Town" that uses imagery from the Tiananmen Square incidents, such as "a puppet king on the Fourth of June" and "before the Twenty-Seventh came". The song was released on their album
Seasons End in September 1989. American rock and folk music band The Hooters
The Hooters
The Hooters is an American rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By combining a mix of rock and roll, reggae, ska and folk music, The Hooters first gained major commercial success in the United States in the mid 1980s due to heavy radio and MTV airplay of several songs including "All You...

 referred to the event in their hit song "500 Miles
500 Miles
"500 Miles" is a folk song made popular in the United States and Europe during the 1960s folk revival. The simple repetitive lyrics offer a lament by a traveler who is far from home, out of money and too ashamed to return...

" (from the album
Zig Zag
Zig zag
Zigzag is a jagged, regular pattern.Zig zag, Zig Zag, Zigzag, or Zig-zag may also refer to:- Animals :* Several types of salamander living in the U.S.:** Southern Zigzag Salamander** Northern Zigzag Salamander...

, recorded 1989), which is an updated version of the 1960s folk song. The third verse begins with words: "A hundred tanks along the square, One man stands and stops them there, Someday soon the tide'll turn and I'll be free"

"Shiny Happy People
Shiny Happy People
"Shiny Happy People" is a song by the band R.E.M.. The song appeared on their 1991 album Out of Time and was released as a single in the same year. The song features guest backing vocals by Kate Pierson of the B-52's, who also has a prominent role in the song's music video.It peaked at #10 on the...

" by R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

 is supposedly an ironic reference to a piece of roughly translated Chinese propaganda regarding the massacre, two years before the song was released.

American thrash metal
Thrash metal
Thrash metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that is characterized usually by its fast tempo and aggression. Songs of the genre typically use fast percussive and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work...

 band Slayer
Slayer
Slayer is an American thrash metal band formed in Huntington Park, California, in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Slayer rose to fame with their 1986 release, Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal acts, along with Metallica, Megadeth and...

 released a song "Blood Red" on their 1990 album titled Seasons in the Abyss
Seasons in the Abyss
Seasons in the Abyss is the fifth studio album by the thrash metal band Slayer. It was released on October 9, 1990 through Def American Records, and later through American Recordings after the company changed its name. The album's recording sessions began in January 1990...

, which was inspired by the Tiananmen Square incident. American thrash metal band Testament
Testament (band)
Testament is an American metal band from Berkeley, California, formed in 1983. They are often credited as one of the most popular bands of the 1980s thrash metal scene...

 released the song "Seven Days of May" protesting the Beijing massacre. American metal band System of a Down
System of a Down
System of a Down, also known by the acronym SOAD and often shortened to System, is a rock band from Southern California. The band was formed in 1994. It consists of Serj Tankian , Daron Malakian , Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan...

 released a song "Hypnotize
Hypnotize (System of a Down song)
-Hypnotize :CD1CD2-Hypnotize :-Hypnotize :-Hypnotize :-External links:**...

" on their 2005 album of the same name
Hypnotize (album)
The album was initially going to start with a Middle Eastern style instrumental track entitled "Hezze", which Malakian stated was one of his favorite songs on the record prior its release. It was dropped at the last minute because the group wanted to open the album with a heavy song and because the...

 mentioning the Tiananmen Square incident in a protest against communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

.

Brazilian death metal
Death metal
Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes....

/groove metal
Groove metal
Groove metal is a subgenre of heavy metal. It was often used to describe Pantera and Exhorder.- Characteristics and origins :Pantera's Cowboys from Hell album from 1990 was described as "groundbreaking" and "blueprint-defining" for the groove metal genre...

 band Sepultura
Sepultura
Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte, formed in 1984. The band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and ultimately groove metal realms during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments melding nu metal, hardcore punk and industrial.Sepultura...

 mentions the Tiananmen Square incident (the lyric: "Tanks on the streets") in their song Refuse/Resist
Refuse/Resist
Refuse/Resist is Sepultura's third EP, released in 1994. The title song, also included as a single off the album Chaos A.D., is one of the band's best-known songs and remains a concert staple to this day. A music video was filmed for the single which features the band playing live at a festival...

 from their 1993 album Chaos A.D.. The music video for the song features some clips of the incident (in particular the Tank Man).

American songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter is an American folk and country music artist. Carpenter spent several years singing in Washington, D.C. clubs before signing in the late 1980s with Columbia Records, who marketed her as a country singer...

 references the event in her song "4 June 1989", released in 2010 on the album
The Age of Miracles
The Age of Miracles
The Age of Miracles is the tenth studio album released by American music artist Mary Chapin Carpenter. The album was released on April 27, 2010 on Zoë Records and was produced by Carpenter and Matt Rollings....

. In 1992, Roger Waters
Roger Waters
George Roger Waters is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. He was a founding member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, serving as bassist and co-lead vocalist. Following the departure of bandmate Syd Barrett in 1968, Waters became the band's lyricist, principal songwriter...

 released
Amused to Death
Amused to Death
Amused to Death is a concept album, and the third studio album by former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters. It was released in 1992.The album title was attached to material that Waters began working on during the Radio KAOS tour...

, an album which included the song "Watching TV", a rumination on the Western response to the protests in Tiananmen. In 1996, a song called "Tiananmen Man", based on the picture of the Tank Man, appeared on Nevermore
Nevermore
Nevermore is an American heavy metal band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in 1991, they are known to incorporate elements from styles such as thrash, power, progressive, and neo-classical metal into their songs, and also makes use of acoustic guitars and a wide range of vocal styles.-Early years...

's second album
The Politics of Ecstasy
The Politics of Ecstasy (album)
-Personnel:*Warrel Dane - vocals*Jeff Loomis - guitar*Pat O'Brien - guitar*Jim Sheppard - bass*Van Williams - drums*Produced by Neil Kernon...

.

Television


A primetime special hosted by Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw
Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw is an American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and other books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors...

 honored both the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing and the fall of the Berlin Wall in that momentous year for human rights around the world, 1989.

CNN news anchor Kyra Phillips
Kyra Phillips
Kyra Phillips is an American news anchor. She is on the weekday edition of CNN Newsroom.-Early life and career:Phillips was born in North Carolina. She grew up in San Diego and graduated from Helix High School. She received her Bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Southern California...

 drew criticism in March 2006 when she compared the 2006 youth protests in France, in which it was later determined that no one was killed, to the Tiananmen Square protests, saying "Sort of brings back memories of Tiananmen Square, when you saw these activists in front of tanks." CNN's Chris Burns
Chris Burns (journalist)
Chris Burns is an American journalist working for Euronews. Formerly with Bloomberg TV & CNN, he was there most notable for reporting from the 10th anniversary of the German reunification in Berlin.- References :...

 told French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy
Philippe Douste-Blazy
Philippe Douste-Blazy is a French centre-right politician. He served as Minister for Health , Minister of Culture and Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Dominique de Villepin .Douste-Blazy is also a cardiologist and Christian Democrat politician from Lourdes...

 that her comments were "regrettable" and would receive some disciplinary actions.

In April 2006, the PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 series Frontline produced an episode titled The Tank Man, which examined his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests and the change that has overtaken the PRC economically and politically since.

On 3 June 2009 the BBC aired the documentary
Kate Adie returns to Tiananmen, in which reporter Kate Adie
Kate Adie
Kathryn "Kate" Adie , OBE , is a British journalist. Her most high-profile role was that of chief news correspondent for BBC News, during which time she became well known for reporting from war zones around the world...

 revisits China and recalls the events she witnessed in 1989.

Movies


The movie
Rapid Fire
Rapid Fire (1992 film)
Rapid Fire is a 1992 action film starring the late Brandon Lee. Lee was reportedly in talks with 20th Century Fox about making Rapid Fire 2, prior to his death. School scenes were filmed at Occidental College in Los Angeles...

, starring Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee
Brandon Bruce Lee was an American actor and martial artist. He was the son of martial arts film star Bruce Lee...

, depicts images of the Tiananmen Square killings. In the movie, Brandon Lee's character is the son of a US government employee who died in the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Summer Palace
Summer Palace (film)
Summer Palace , is a 2006 Chinese film and the fourth feature film by director Lou Ye. The film was a Chinese-French collaboration produced by Dream Factory, Laurel Films, Fantasy Pictures and Sylvain Bursztejn's Rosem Films...

(2006) by Chinese director Lou Ye
Lou Ye
Lou Ye , born 1965, is a Chinese writer-director who is commonly grouped with the "Sixth Generation" directors of Chinese cinema.-Films:Born in Shanghai, Lou was educated at the Beijing Film Academy. In 1993, he made his first film Weekend Lover, but it was not released until two years later in 1995...

 contains re-enacted scenes from Beijing streets during the days of the protests in Tiananmen Square. The movie was banned from public viewing.

See also

  • List of massacres in China
  • Zhang Zhixin
    Zhang Zhixin
    Zhang Zhixin was a dissident during the Cultural Revolution who became famous for criticizing the idolization of Mao Zedong and the ultra-left...

  • Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang
    Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang
    Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang is a 360-page book in English published in May 2009 containing the memoirs of People's Republic of China's former communist leader who was sacked after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. It is based on a series of about 30 audio...

  • Nonviolent resistance
    Nonviolent resistance
    Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. It is largely synonymous with civil resistance...

  • The Gate of Heavenly Peace (documentary)
    The Gate of Heavenly Peace (documentary)
    The Gate of Heavenly Peace is a 1995 documentary film, produced by Richard Gordon and Carma Hinton, about the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.-Synopsis:...

  • Executive Order 12711
    Executive Order 12711
    The Executive Order 12711 was issued by American president George H. W. Bush on 11 April 1990. It deferred deportation of Chinese nationals and their direct dependents who were in the US between 5 June 1989 and 11 April 1990, waived the 2-year home country residency requirement, and gave them...

  • Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992
    Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992
    The Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 was a bill sponsored by U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi which granted permanent residency to all Chinese nationals who arrived in the United States on or before April 11, 1990. It made permanent a temporary ban on deportation of Chinese nationals,...


Further reading



Review and synopis of the book is in the journal Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

 at The Tiananmen Papers
  • "Deng Is Said to Have Backed Tiananmen Violence" article by Michael Wines and Andrew Jacobs in The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    4 June 2010

Internet videos


External links