In a year that not only saw huge scandals in China, but also a global “occupy” movement, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 are looking all the more relevant.The protests, which saw hundreds of thousands of students occupying Beijing’s central square, and ultimately resulted in hundreds, perhaps thousands of deaths (the number is disputed).
On the 23rd anniversary of the crisis, we look back at some of the iconic images it produced.
Hu had widely been seen as reformer and was supported by students, who wanted the Chinese government to continue his pro-market and pro-democracy policies.
Following Hu's official state funeral, some 100,000 students gathered in the Beijing's central square.
The PLA marched on Beijing, only to withdraw a few days later. Protestors would lecture the soldiers, asking them to join their cause.
Other numbers, ranging into the thousands, have circulated, with none confirmed. Many of the deaths happened outside the square, with soldiers firing directly at unarmed protesters.
This shot shows the man from another angle. He was reportedly whisked aside by onlookers, but it was unclear what became of him or who he was.
Tens of thousands of people are arrested after the protests, an unknown number were likely executed.
Officially China still tries to ignore the legacy of the event, with searches on Weibo banned today.
The country has responded sternly to a statement from the US asking it to free prisoners still being held because of the protests.
Many still remember, however. Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong today to commemorate those who lost their lives.
Some wonder if scandals involving Bo Xilai and Chen Guangcheng points towards another period of turmoil coming for China.
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