• SENSEX
    NIFTY 50
Economy

From reform hopes to brutal crackdown: Here's a timeline of China's Tiananmen protests

Updated : May 28, 2019 09:26 AM IST

Next Tuesday, June 4, marks 30 years since China bloodily suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations in and around central Beijing's Tiananmen Square, when Chinese troops opened fire on their own people. The event remains a taboo topic of discussion in China and will not be officially commemorated by the ruling Communist Party or government. It sparked in 1988, when China slid into economic chaos with panic buying triggered by rising inflation that neared 30 percent. On April 15, 1989, a leading reformer and former Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, passed away. His death acted as a catalyst for unhappiness with the slow pace of reform, as well as corruption and income inequality. Two days after his death, protests began at Tiananmen Square, with students calling for democracy and reform. Crowds of up to 100,000 gathered, despite official warnings. Here are some landmark dates leading up to the demonstrations and the crackdown that followed:

On April 22, some 50,000 students gathered outside the Great Hall of the People as Hu's memorial service was held. Three students attempted to deliver a petition to the government, outlining their demands, but were ignored. Rioting and looting took place in Xian and Changsha. (Reuters/File Photo)
On April 22, some 50,000 students gathered outside the Great Hall of the People as Hu's memorial service was held. Three students attempted to deliver a petition to the government, outlining their demands, but were ignored. Rioting and looting took place in Xian and Changsha. (Reuters/File Photo)
On April 27, 1989, around 50,000 students defy authorities and march to Tiananmen. Supporting crowds number up to one million. (Reuters/File photo)
On April 27, 1989, around 50,000 students defy authorities and march to Tiananmen. Supporting crowds number up to one million. (Reuters/File photo)
On May 4, further mass protests coincided with the anniversary of the May 4 Movement of 1919, which was another student and intellectual-led movement for reform. Protests coincided with the meeting of Asian Development Bank in Great Hall of the People. Students marched in Shanghai and nine other cities. (Reuters/File photo)
On May 4, further mass protests coincided with the anniversary of the May 4 Movement of 1919, which was another student and intellectual-led movement for reform. Protests coincided with the meeting of Asian Development Bank in Great Hall of the People. Students marched in Shanghai and nine other cities. (Reuters/File photo)
On May 19 and 20, Party chief Zhao Ziyang visited students on Tiananmen Square, accompanied by the hardline then-premier Li Peng and future premier Wen Jiabao. Zhao pleaded with the students protesters to leave, but was ignored. It was the last time Zhao was seen in public. He was later purged. (Reuters/File photo)
On May 19 and 20, Party chief Zhao Ziyang visited students on Tiananmen Square, accompanied by the hardline then-premier Li Peng and future premier Wen Jiabao. Zhao pleaded with the students protesters to leave, but was ignored. It was the last time Zhao was seen in public. He was later purged. (Reuters/File photo)
On May 20, Li declared martial law in parts of Beijing. Reviled by many to this day as the
On May 20, Li declared martial law in parts of Beijing. Reviled by many to this day as the "Butcher of Beijing", Li remained premier until 1998. (Reuters/File photo)
On May 23, some 100,000 people marched in Beijing demanding Li's removal. (Reuters/file photo)
On May 23, some 100,000 people marched in Beijing demanding Li's removal. (Reuters/file photo)
On May 31, Government-sponsored counter-demonstration called students
On May 31, Government-sponsored counter-demonstration called students "traitorous bandits". (Reuters/File photo)
On June 4,  tanks and armoured personnel carriers began their attack on the square itself, clearing it by dawn. About four hours later, troops fired on unarmed civilians regrouping at the edge of the square. (Reuters/File photo)
On June 4,  tanks and armoured personnel carriers began their attack on the square itself, clearing it by dawn. About four hours later, troops fired on unarmed civilians regrouping at the edge of the square. (Reuters/File photo)
On June 6 and 9, Chinese State Council spokesman Yuan Mu said the known death toll was about 300, most of them soldiers with only 23 students confirmed killed. China has never provided a full death toll, but rights groups and witnesses said the figure could run into the thousands. On June 9, paramount leader Deng Xiaoping praised the military officers, and blamed the protests on counter-revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the party. (Reuters/File photo)
On June 6 and 9, Chinese State Council spokesman Yuan Mu said the known death toll was about 300, most of them soldiers with only 23 students confirmed killed. China has never provided a full death toll, but rights groups and witnesses said the figure could run into the thousands. On June 9, paramount leader Deng Xiaoping praised the military officers, and blamed the protests on counter-revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the party. (Reuters/File photo)
Live TV

Ask Our Experts CNBC TV18

Send your queries on investments and have them answered by our experts

Enter your details

Post