Students in China had heard about the freedom and equality in democratic countries and wanted that for China. The students hosted small protests and demonstrations with the approved slogans. Slowly however the protests got less and less meek, with the slogans straying further and further from what was approved. The students continued protesting, saying that they hadn't been shut down yet and probably wouldn't be. As the protests were happening the government slowly got more and more nervous.
On June fourth of 1989, a series of protests and demonstrations were held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. By this time, the government was beyond nervous and fearing anarchy. They sent tanks and soldiers to stop the protestors. The result was horrific. Students were beaten, killed or arrested. The students, by this were joined by all other forms people, from housewives to navy soldiers, fought back by igniting big branches and bashing them in car windows.
Tanks and troops were sent to Tiananmen square to suppress the protests. A few thousand demonstrators decided to stay and stand their ground. The military were able to remove the protesters from some other cities too. In Shanghai the mayor, Zhou Rongji was able to make a peaceful settlement with the protesters there. By June 5th the military secured complete control but there was a widely known report about a single protester facing down a colum tanks. They arrested thousands of protesters and some leaders were able to escape China and Zhao Ziyang was disgraced and so replaced by Jiang Zemin.