Fast facts on Tiananmen Square | CNN


Here is some information on the events on Tiananmen Square in Beijing from 3 to 4 June 1989.

Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing, the capital of China.

Tiananmen means “gate of heavenly peace”.

In 1989, after several weeks of demonstrations, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square on June 4 and fired on civilians.

Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to thousands.

It is estimated that up to 10,000 people were arrested during and after the protests.

Several dozen people were executed for their parts in the demonstrations.

April 15, 1989 – Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party leader, died. Hu had worked to bring China to a more open political system and had become a symbol of democratic reform.

April 18, 1989 – Thousands of mourning students march through the capital to Tiananmen Square, demanding a more democratic government. In the following weeks, thousands of people joined the students in the square to protest against the Chinese Communist rulers.

May 13, 1989 – More than 100 students go on hunger strike in Tiananmen Square. The number increases to several thousand over the next few days.

May 19, 1989 – A demonstration in Tiananmen Square attracts around 1.2 million people. The general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Zhao Ziyang, comes to the demonstration and calls for an end to the demonstrations.

May 19, 1989 – Premier Li Peng imposes martial law.

June 1, 1989 – China holds live American television broadcasts in Beijing, including CNN. Furthermore, journalists are prohibited from photographing or filming the demonstrations or Chinese troops.

June 2, 1989 – About 100,000 people attended a concert by singer Hou Dejian in Tiananmen Square in support of the protesters.

June 4, 1989 – Around one in the morning Chinese troops reach Tiananmen Square. Throughout the day, Chinese troops fire on civilians and students, ending the demonstrations. An official death toll has never been released.

June 5, 1989 – An unidentified man is alone on the street, blocking a column of Chinese tanks. He stays there for several minutes before being swept away by the spectators.

June 5, 1999 – About 70,000 people in Hong Kong take part in a memorial vigil.

1 June 1999 – The National Security Archive publishes “Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History”. The archive includes documents from the US State Department relating to events that occurred during the demonstrations.

January 2001 – Two Chinese scholars publish “The Tiananmen Papers” amid controversy. The documents are presented as a collection of internal government documents, including transcripts of notes, speeches, meeting minutes, and eyewitness accounts of the historic disaster. The Chinese government calls the documents manufactured material.

February 2006 – Former reporter Yu Dongyue is released from prison after serving 17 years. He was arrested during the Tiananmen Square protests for throwing paint on a portrait of Mao Zedong.

June 4, 2009 – Tens of thousands of people commemorate Tiananmen Square’s 20th anniversary at a rally in Hong Kong. In Beijing, reporters are prevented from entering the streets as the government blocks foreign news sites and Twitter.

April 2011 – The National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square was recently renovated and opened to the public. The building contains no artifacts mentioning the events of June 1989.

2012 – Wuer Kaixi, one of the organizers of the Tiananmen Square protest, attempts to return to China by surrendering himself to the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC. The embassy does not answer the door.

3 June 2015 – Twenty-six years after the Tiananmen Square uprising, a State Department spokesperson releases statement calling for the release of those still serving “Tiananmen related sentences”.

15 October 2016 – China will release Miao Deshunthe last known prisoner of the uprising, according to Dui Hua, a human rights organization based in San Francisco.