On 4 June 1989, there was a massive protest that led to what was known as the “June 4th Massacre” that happened at Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing. There are valuable political values and lessons to be derived from the Tian An Men protests and massacre that are still relevant today. As the 25th anniversary of the political event, we give you a brief account of the 8 facts that you need to know about Tiananmen.
Background (a very brief account):
After the death of Mao Zedong and the end of the Mao-era of Cultural Revolution, Deng XiaoPing emerged as the leader of China in 1978. With a different approach, the political reform focused to achieve material prosperity in the country. Poverty fell, agriculture are privatized – however, inflation soared and this created fear of future and aggravation of many social problems. Following the death of Hu Yaobang, who supported political liberalization, many students who supported his ideology begun the protest which escalated.
1) The protests lasted from 15 April 1989 to 4 June 1989, a total of 1 month, 2 weeks and 6 days
2) The government suppressed many domestic media of news or reports on this incident. As a result, many details are speculated or inaccurate.
3) Deaths include university professors, technical people, officials, high school students and grade school students. The youngest was only 9 years old.
4) Death toll as released by the government to be 241. Estimated numbers were higher, at 2600. Numbers could not be confirmed with the lack of information.
8) Twenty-five years after the bloody military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, China is seeking to quell all discussion of the massacre by locking up, charging or harassing artists, scholars, lawyers, bloggers and relatives of victims.
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng
Credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/beijing-in-lockdown-for/1135868.html http://time.com/95642/tiananmen-square-china-anniversary/