Tian an men square protest
Tiananmen is a Chinese word meaning "the gate of heavenly peace." Tiananmen Square,
where the massacre occurred, is found in the center of the capital city of China, Beijing. Political
conflict is to blame for the genocide because it is estimated that more than 10,000 people lost
their lives during the demonstrations after Chinese service-members entered the square and
began firing on unarmed civilian protesters1. In 1989, after the death of a prominent figure of the
students who fought against the lack of freedom of speech and retaliation from corrupt leaders,
the students began to riot, prompting officials to respond by sending troops to control the masses.
Genocide is the result where the act of organized violence has caused 1,000 deaths or more.2
Therefore, it is evident that the Tian an men square protest is a significant event to modern-day
China, and it affects how Chinese citizens relate with the government, and with other nations.
The Background of the Tian an men square protest
In the 1980s, China went through some significant political changes. Politics play a
crucial role in any society since political leaders are entrusted with making essential decisions
such as the utilization of taxpayers’ money and the exploitation of the country’s resources. The
ruling Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping (hereafter known as Deng) and his administrators
began to license private investors to open private organizations, and foreigners were allowed to
CNN. 2019“Tiananmen Square Fast Facts”
Tang. The Onset of Ethnic War. Sociological Theory. 256-279: 2015 doi:
invest in the country3. Deng and his officials thought that this would boost China’s economy and
raise the living standards of Chinese citizens. However, since it only benefited a few individuals,
most of the Chinese citizens detested the Deng’s strategy. Living standards became too high for
the average citizen, and it caused an outcry among the public. Deng’s framework brought about
corruption, and division within the ruling party. There were some Communists who appreciated
the change. Still, some wanted to maintain the former strict control by a state official, where
there was a severe punishment for corrupt officials that served as an example to other
administrators. This situation prompted the student-led protests in 1985, and most were political
studies learners who had opinions about the issue. How other higher-level states, such as the
United Kingdom, were handling the matter.
The main actors in this event
The first main actors were the anti-policy administrators such as Hu Yaobang, who was
ousted from the Communists party for openly critiquing the government. Sadly, Mr. Hu died on
15th April 1989, and he became a remarkable representation of positive reform for most
protesters in China.4 There were a few of such brave leaders because most were afraid of the
repercussions of attacking the government since death had become the apparent result for any
publicly made critic to the government. Second, the students and other protestors, such as the
Tank Man, were the most affected stakeholders during this event. On 18th April 1989, an
innumerable number of protesters gathered in the square to fight for democracy, and publicly
BBC. 2019. "What Were The Tiananmen Square Protests About?". BBC News.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48445934. Para. 1
Minyue, Hou. "The post-Tiananmen human rights issue in China–Australia relations." Asian
Journal of Political Science 15, no. 3 (2007): 344-362.
declaring their discontent with Deng’s authoritarian ruling strategies. More than one hundred
protesters began a hunger strike to catch the attention of Deng and his officials on the matter.
Third, local and international media reporters such as CNN correspondents based in
China at the time were affected by the situation, since Chinese administrators made it illegal for
them to take photos or videos of the protests. This hindrance barred the international community
from the situation and limited their understanding of the extent of the matter.5 Finally, Deng's
administrators were the most crucial players during the protests. To begin with, they were the
primary reason as to why the demonstration was taking place because of their leadership styles.
Luckily, there were leaders such as Zhao Ziyang, who personally visited the angry demonstrators
to negotiate with them to end the riots before things got worse. Sadly, the sentiments of Zhao fell
on deaf ears because the demonstrators increased with time. 6On the other hand, political leaders
such as Li Peng who were hardliners vouched for the martial law which allowed for the shooting
of demonstrators. On 4th June 1989, an estimated 100,000 who had attended a concert by a
popular singer who supported the reform, Hou Dejian, were short by Chinese troops causing the
demonstrations to end.
The primary debates and controversies that happened during the protest
The Tian an men square protests happened when the communist party had allowed some
private companies and foreign investors in the country to boost economic growth and raise the
standards of living. This bold step brought about corruption, and at the same time, it raised the
Sarotte, Mary Elise. "China's fear of contagion: Tiananmen Square and the power of the
European example." Internatio...