June 4, 2018 marked the 29th anniversary of Tiananmen Square protests / massacre of China. On this day in 1989, the Chinese troops had violently retook the Tiananmen Square in Beijing from the pro-democracy protesters. On this occasion, the Chinese people worldwide also remember a lone man, better known as “Tank Man” who armed with nothing more than two shopping bags stepped in front of the row of tanks moving down the streets of Beijing. The image of Tank Man is considered to be most enduring image of China’s violent crackdown on democracy supporters.
Tiananmen Square Massacre
Tiananmen Square in Beijing is known for three major protests viz. 1919, 1976 and 1989 in recent Chinese history. The 1989 prodemocracy protests started in April that year and were suppressed on June 4 after the military crackdown. This event is also known as June Fourth Incident in modern Chinese history.
These protests were started by a groups of students, intellectuals and labour activists of Beijing. Though there was neither a common cause nor a common leader, the broad demand was political reforms as the protesters did not like the way country’s economy was run by Communist Party of China.
These people were not happy with the rule of Deng Xiaoping, the successor of Mao Zedong, who had launched several reforms, apparently biased against urban dwellers, while favouring rural.
On June 4, 1989, the Communist government in China used force to end the protests. The exact number of causalities never came in public because of suppression of media.