Tiananmen Square Massacre


The Tiananmen Square Massacre is the indiscriminate killing carried out by the Chinese Law Enforcing Agency on the behest of the Chinese Government. The massacre was carried upon the peaceful protestors, mostly students, protesting against the Communist regime of China as they demanded democracy. The incident took place on the 4th of June 1989.

Back Ground

The Tiananmen Square Protest was primarily sparked after the death of a popular Government figure, former Secretary General Hu Yaobang.

On January 16th 1987, Mr. Hu resigned from his post of General Secretary with his resignation containing humiliating self criticism which was suspected to be forced upon him by the Central Community of the Communist Party.

His sudden death through cardiac arrest provided a perfect opportunity for the Chinese mainland student community of not only mourning his death but also protesting against the communist Government chanting pro-democracy slogans.

The Protest

The protest started on a small scale on 16th and 17th April as mourning of death of a beloved leader how ever as this mourning preceded, it turned into a pro-democracy demonstration and eventual hunger strike by the students who were getting fed up day by day by the communist regime and its related corruption.

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A Martial Law was ordered by the Government on the 20th of May how ever the military was forced to enter Beijing by throngs of Student Protestors and thus the army was withdrawn. The army was reported to be against any operation against the students, how ever soldiers and armored tanks of the 27th and 28th Army of the People Liberation Army were sent inside the Capital Beijing.

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The Army entrance was highly resisted by the protesters who burnt public busses and vehicles to block the Army entrance in the city.

The civilians were now resisting their own Army against an action on the protesting mob at the Tiananmen Square. The army fired tear Gas and bullets to clear the hindrances created by the protesting and resisting mob. The suppression of the protest was immortalized in Western media by the famous video footage and photographs of a lone man in a white shirt standing in front of a column of tanks which were attempting to drive out of Tiananmen Square. The time magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people of the 20th century dubbing him the “The Un Known Rebel”

Number of deaths

 The number of deaths reported vary from sources to sources for the incident. Some of he credible statistics are provided below:-

  • 2600 official deaths by the Morning of 4th June 1989-Chinese Red Cross [1]
  • 1000 deaths- Amnesty International [2]
  • 7000 deaths out of which 6000 were of soldiers- NATO intelligence [3]
  • 10,000 deaths in total were reported by the Societ Block [3]


  1. Chinese human rights official says the crackdown 'completely correct' Rebecca MacKinnon, "Tiananmen Ten Years Later." CNN, 2 June 1999. available onlien at
  2. How Many Really Died? Time magazine, June 04, 1990 available online at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,970278,00.html
  3. Timperlake, Edward. [1999] (1999). Red Dragon Rising. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0895262584
Updated: Feb 22, 2021
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Tiananmen Square Massacre. (2017, Mar 13). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/tiananmen-square-massacre-essay

Tiananmen Square Massacre essay
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