Tiananamen Square Essay

Submitted By jrobssk
Words: 568
Pages: 3

Tiananmen Square Presentation Notes:
Following the death of Hu Yaobang, a funeral was held in The Great Hall of the People on April 22nd, 1989. During the memorial ceremony, students think it’s a great time to present their petition, as for Yaobang was known for pushing democratic reforms himself. Three students were allowed to present the petition in front of The Great Hall of the People where they kneeled down and demanded to meet with Premier Li Peng. Li Peng refuses to meet them and their demands by ignoring their presence because they feared this was the beginning to a second cultural revolution. The students also refuse to let the petition be handed over to government officials to be delivered inside. This lead to a general boycott of Chinese universities across the country and widespread calls for democratic reforms.
On April 26th, the communist leaders published an editorial in the People’s Daily, a front page article that was titled, “It is necessary to take a clear-cut stand against disturbances”. It accused "extremely small segments of opportunists" of plotting to overthrow the Communist Party and the political system. The statement enraged students, who interpreted it as a direct indictment on the protests and its cause. The editorial backfired. Instead of scaring students into submission, it antagonized the students against the state. The editorial proved to be a major sticking point for the remainder of the protest. The editorial effectively defined the student movement as a destabilizing anti-party revolt that should be resolutely opposed at all levels of society. As the first authoritative document from the top leadership on the growing movement, it was widely interpreted as having communicated the party's position of 'no-tolerance' to student protesters and their sympathizers.
On May 18th, Li Peng and other government leaders agreed to meet with a few student leaders in The Great Hall of the People and hold a televised broadcast throughout China. Li Peng asked the students to stop their protest and their hunger strike. The students refused and insulted Li Peng by telling him they are going to ask the questions…