Tiananmen Square massacre
|Tiananmen Square massacre|
|Demonstrator in Tiananmen Square|
|Literal meaning||June Fourth Incident|
The Tiananmen Square massacre took place when a series of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations led by students, labor activists and intellectuals in China between April 15, 1989 and June 4, 1989, were broken up by the army. The death toll is estimated to be between 1,000 and 3,000 in Beijing alone. The demonstrations mainly took place on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, but large protests also occurred in several cities throughout China, including Shanghai. The crackdown was a source of friction between China and the West, and also between the visiting Mikhail Gorbachev and the Chinese Government.
Tiananmen Square had been the scene of earlier significant demonstrations in Chinese history, notably those of May 4, 1919 protesting against concessions to Japan, and the demonstrations of April 5, 1976 following the death of Zhou Enlai, the latter being broken up by police. The square was also the venue in 1966-67 of giant demonstrations by the Chinese Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.
On June 14, 1989, Former President Ronald Reagan spoke about the massacre. He said: "The seeds of democracy have been planted. It may take years or even decades before the people of these countries can sit in the shade of democracy, but sit in the shade of democracy they someday will."
- Tiananmen - the Rape of Peking. Michael Fathers and Andrew Higgins, 1989.
- Reagan Gets A Red Carpet From British, The New York Times, June 14, 1989, "You cannot massacre an idea, you cannot run tanks over hope. You cannot riddle a people's yearning with bullets. Those heroic Chinese students who gave their lives have released the spirit of democracy and it cannot be called back. That spirit is loose upon the world this spring."
- President Reagan Speaks Out on Tiananmen Square Massacre, NBC
- Victims of Tiananmen Massacre, Beijing, June 4, 1989.