Jiang Zemin was the top Chinese leader from about 1992 until 2002. Deng Xiaoping appointed him chairman of the China's Military Commission in 1989, after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Although this is normally the top position in the Chinese government, Deng at first retained authority supported by a group of senior leaders called the Eight Elders. This group lost influence in 1992-1993 as its elderly members retired from active politics. After a brief attempt to reassert control in 1993, Deng himself withdrew from politics. Deng died in 1997. Jiang refused to improve China’s record on human rights, Christianity, and democracy.