Tiananmen Sqauare CHINESE STUDENT PROTEST

Setting

  • This protest took place from April, 15 through June, 4 1989
  • The protests heightened on May 20th when the protests were, under martial law, forced to dissipate
  • The protests continued until June 4th when the Chinese government sent in their military in order to break up the protests
  • These protests were centered around Tiananmen Square
  • Tiananmen Square is known primarily for its gate nicknamed "Gate of Heavenly Peace"
  • This gate separates the Forbidden City (the palace where the emperor presides) from the rest of Beijing
  • The square also accommodates the National Museum of China and the Great Hall of People

Who?

Deng Xiaoping was a government official , and was more open to changing the previously communist government. The government forced Deng to retire because his belief in changing communist China. His close official, Hu Yaobang recently died. A congregation of students gathered into the square to mourn the death of the associate and like-minded Hu Yaobang.

What?

The Tiananmen Square Massacre started out as a peaceful mourning of the equally peaceful Hu Yaobang. Over the course of a month, the mourning slowly evolved into a protest against communism in China. To their credit, the Chinese government gave the protesters fair warning to stop their nearly month long protest against communism. The mainly student crowd, however, refused to disperse. This prompted the government escalate the situation by using military force. The then peaceful protests escalated in a full on riot once military force had arrived. After nearly 300 civilian and military fatalities, the Chinese government dispersed the protests.

Why and How?

  • As for the initially assembly of students and civilians, The motivation to protest was to initially mourn the death of Hu Yaobang
  • The protesters continued to protest, instead of simply mourn Yaobang, because the protesters were fed up with the government and the oppression of communism ruining their lives
  • This resentment against the government manifested primarily in the protests was due to the lack of voice and opinion the citizens had over their government
  • The protesters turned their peaceful protest into a riot because they felt threatened by the military which started killing the crowd to kill the then protesters
  • The government sent in the military to try to break up any potential riots as well as to silence the outcry of the Chinese citizens, and this counter intuitively sparked a riot
  • The how of Tiananmen square is rather self explanatory, the fed up citizens decided to protest their discontent with the government
To This date the Chinese government censors and denies the events of Tiananmen Square

Implications

  • This event forever impacted China, turning China to a less and less Communist minded country, akin to today
  • Without this massacre, China's government could be drastically different from today in terms of ideology
  • This event in a way paved the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as the fall of communism
  • While it is, admittedly, still likely the Berlin Wall would fall, it is not unreasonable to believe it may have occurred in 1990 or later without the Tiananmen massacre
  • This event is meaningful as it also painted a sense of distrust in the Chinese government, akin to Watergate, although at a smaller scale
  • It is important to note that the blame on the deaths should not fall strictly on China, while they did escalate the protest into riots, the government did give fair warning to their people; if it is deemed "acceptable" for the US to warn Japan before dropping a nuclear bomb, then it should also be deemed acceptable that China warned its citizens before infiltrating the square

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