Tiananmen Square Massacre

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square, large public square in Beijing, China, on the southern edge of the Inner or Tatar City. The square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall (with Mao's embalmed body). Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic in the square on Oct. 1, 1949, an anniversary still observed there.

A massive demonstration for democratic reform, begun there by Chinese students in Apr., 1989, was brutally repressed on June 3 and 4. It was initiated to demand the posthumous rehabilitation of former Communist Party Chairman Hu Yaobang. The government was tolerant until after his funeral; then Deng Xiaoping denounced the protests. The demonstrators were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, until over a million people filled the square. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang expressed sympathy, but lost out to Deng, who supported the use of military suppression. Martial law was declared on May 20. The protesters demanded that the leadership resign, but the government answered on June 3–4 with troops and tanks, killing thousands to quell a "counterrevolutionary rebellion." Zhao was dismissed and a number of the student leaders were arrested.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Tiananmen Square Massacre: Selected full-text books and articles

Tiananmen Square, Spring 1989: A Chronology of the Chinese Democracy Movement By Theodore Han; John Li Institute of East Asian Studies University of California, 1992
Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late 20th Century By Sharon Erickson Nepstad Oxford University Press, 2011
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "The Tiananmen Tragedy and the Failed Uprising in China"
Chinese Democracy after Tiananmen By Yijiang Ding Columbia University Press, 2002
Who Died in Beijing, and Why By Munro, Robin The Nation, Vol. 250, No. 23, June 11, 1990
Curriculum in Exile: Teaching Tiananmen at Harvard By He, Rowena Xiaoqing Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, Vol. 14, No. 1-2, January-December 2012
China's Use of Military Force: Beyond the Great Wall and the Long March By Andrew Scobell Cambridge University Press, 2003
Librarian's tip: Chap. 7 "Why the People's Army Fired on the People: Beijing, 1989"
Sino-US Military Relations since Tiananmen: Restoration, Progress, and Pitfalls By Yuan, Jing-Dong Parameters, Vol. 33, No. 1, Spring 2003
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China By Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom; Elizabeth J. Perry Westview Press, 1994 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. 13 "History, Myth, and the Tales of Tiananmen"
International Human Rights By Jack Donnelly Westview Press, 1998 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. Six "Responding to Tiananmen"
China's Legal Awakening: Legal Theory and Criminal Justice in Deng's Era By Carlos Wing-Hung Lo Hong Kong University Press, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "The 1989 Student Democratic Movement: A Legal Perspective" and Chap. 10 "Trials of Dissidents of the 1989 Democratic Movement: The Limits of Socialist Justice"
Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict: the Basic Documents By Qiao Li; Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan; Marc Lambert; H. R. Lan; Jerry Dennerline M. E. Sharpe, 1990
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