1989 Tiananmen Square protests
The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations held in Beijing during 1989. The popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests is sometimes called the ’89 Democracy Movement. The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the People’s Liberation Army to occupy parts of Beijing.
About 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in brief
The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations held in Beijing during 1989. The popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests is sometimes called the ’89 Democracy Movement. The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the People’s Liberation Army to occupy parts of central Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party has used numerous names for the event since 1989, gradually using more neutral terminology. Remembering the protests is widely associated with questioning the legitimacy of Communist Party rule and remains one of the most sensitive and most widely censored topics in China. However, alternative names have sprung up to describe the events on the Internet, such as May 35th, VIIV, and 8964 Squared Squared. In English, the terms ‘Tianmen Square Massacre’ and ‘June Fourth Crackdown’ are often used to describe events of the series of events that followed the Tiananman Square Protests and the crackdown on the protesters. In Chinese, the common Chinese name for the crackdown is \”June Fourth Incident\”. The nomenclature is consistent with the customary names of the other two great protests that occurred in Tian anmen Square: the May Fourth Movement of 1919 and the April Fifth Movement of 1976. In the English language, the term ‘June 4th Incident’ is used to refer to the day on which the Chinese government cleared the Square of protesters, although actual operations began on the evening of June 3. Outside mainland China, the more neutral phrase ‘political turmoil between the Spring and Summer of 1989’ is more commonly used by the Chinese leadership to describe this period of turmoil.
The term ‘political Spring’ or ‘Summer Spring’ is most commonly used in mainland China to describe a period of political turmoil between April and June 1989, when China was experiencing rapid economic development and social change in post-Mao China. The crackdown ended the political reforms begun in 1986 and halted the policies of liberalization of the 1980s, which were only partly resumed after Deng Xiaoping’s Southern Tour in 1992. Considered a watershed event, reaction to the protests set limits on political expression in China, limits that have lasted up to the present day. The Chinese government made widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, suppressed other protests around China, expelled foreign journalists, strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press, strengthened the police and internal security forces, and demoted or purged officials it deemed sympathetic to the protester groups. The international community, human rights organisations, and political analysts condemned the government for the massacre. Western countries imposed arms embargoes on China. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded. At the height of the protests, about one million people assembled in the Square. As the protests developed, the authorities responded with both conciliatory and hardline tactics, exposing deep divisions within the party leadership. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy.