Tiananmen Massacre

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Death of Hu Yaobang

04/15/1989

Former Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang dies of a massive heart attack. A official memorial is held the next day, three students carry a petition and kneel on the Great Hall steps in front of 100,000 students who have gathered at the square the night before.

The Editorial and Protest

04/26/1989

The Communist Party newspaper People's Daily publishes an editorial accusing a "small handful of plotters" of stirring up student unrest and creating turmoil in order to overthrow the Communist Party and the socialist system. Ignoring warnings of violent suppression, students from more than 40 universities march to Tiananmen in protest of the April 26th editorial.

Hunger Strikes while demanding for democracy

05/13/1989

Several hundred students begin a hunger strike at Tiananmen Square in the afternoon. Elected students charges with the responsibility for dialogue with the government begin formal talks with the government. Twelve of China's most famous writers and scholars present their emergency appeals at the Square, calling on the government to acknowledge the movement as a patriotic democracy movement and calling on the students to end their hunger strike. Their efforts fail.

Hunger strikes

05/15/1989

Hunger strikes continue until May 19th until the students call it off and instead declare a massive sit-in and the IWU (Independant Workers Union) is founded in Tiananmen Square.

Government declares Martial Law

05/20/1989

The government formally declares martial law in Beijing, but the army's advance towards the city is blocked by large numbers of students and citizens.

Goddess of Democracy

05/30/1989

The ten-meter-high Goddess of Democracy is unveiled, it symbolises the movement and attracts much attention from the community.

More hunger strikes

06/02/1989

At 5:00 pm, Liu Xiaobo, Hou Dejian, Zhou Duo and Gao Xin start a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square.

Violence at Tiananmen Square Begin

06/03/1989

Troops receive orders to reclaim Tiananmen Square at all cost. Around 10:00 pm, soldiers open fire on people who try to block the army's advance, as well as on those who are simply shouting at the troops. Tanks and armored personnel carriers move toward the center of the city. Many people in the streets are killed or wounded, including bystanders.

Massacre Begins

06/04/1989

Around 1:00 am, troops surround Tiananmen Square and await further orders. Around 4:00 am, the four men who began a hunger strike on June 2 negotiate with the troops to allow the students to leave the Square. Around 5:00 am, several thousand students, and their teachers and supporters leave the Square at gunpoint

Tank Man

06/05/1989

An anonymous man stands 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.

Arrest and trial of Chen Ziming and Wang Juntao

10/31/1989

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. They were put on trial in 1990 and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Effect on economic reform

01/16/1990

slow pace of reform was 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's Southern Tour of 1992, designed by the ailing but influential leader as a means to reinstate his economic reform agenda.[20] On the tour, Deng criticized the leftist hardliners that had gained power following the protests, and praised entrepreneurship and other market-driven policies. Initially ignored by Beijing, the Chinese Politburo eventually sided with Deng and economic reforms again gained prominence.