In 1989, government corruption and rising inflation caused much of China's population to respond to a student revolt for democracy. This ignited an historically significant confrontation with Chinese Communist Party authorities.
On June 3 and 4, 1989, the Communist People's Liberation Army in China brutally crushed supporters of democracy who marched on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Hundreds of students and others were killed, with 10,000 people injured and hundreds more jailed.
When Hu Yaobang, a hero to Chinese liberals and a former general secretary of the
On April 20, 1989, the Chinese government ordered the protesters to stop demonstrating, an order which the protesters ignored.
On May 4, 1989, 100,000 students and workers marched in Beijing demanding democratic reforms. On May 20, 1989, the government declared martial law. Demonstrations continued, however, while the government tried to decide between two leaders: Premier Li Peng and
Li Peng's harder-line approach won out, as he had Deng Xiaoping's support as well. After Li Peng's appointment, the government ordered troops to Tiananmen Square, where violence ensued. The government conducted widespread arrests, summary trials, and executions; banned the foreign press; and strictly controlled the Chinese press. Although the government had quelled similar protests since the mid-1980s, the extremely violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the Chinese government. ("
Now, each year on June 3 and 4, families of the slain protesters gather in Beijing to mourn, although the government has forbidden...