This Day in History: We Reflect on the Chinese Crackdown that Led to the Tienanmen Square Massacre

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If we do not adjust our mindset and morals, tragic moments of history are destined to repeat themselves.

In May of 1989, nearly one million Chinese citizens flocked to downtown Beijing to protest for greater democracy and to call for the resignation of Chinese Communist Party leaders that were victimizing Chinese citizens to systemic oppression. 

For three weeks, the protesters organized daily vigils, marched, and chanted to call attention to the injustices that society in Beijing was going through. 

Western reporters collected footage of the events to broadcast in the United States and Europe, but the Chinese government refused to be subjected to the inter-continental criticism that came from democratic nations. 

On June 4th, 1989, Chinese military troops and police stormed into Tiananmen square (where the protestors were largely located), firing upon the Chinese citizens, killing thousands, and arresting just over 10,000. 

 

Many protestors fled the scene when the killing began, but other protestors fought back. Some Chinese citizens threw stones and rocks at the soldiers, some overturned military vehicles and set them on fire.

Western diplomats and journalists congregated at the scene received the same deadly aggression from the Chinese military. 

The savage attacks from the Chinese government shocked the world stage, including China's allies and their Cold War enemies alike. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev criticized the actions of the Chinese military, stating that he hoped that the government would consider adopting his own domestic reform program and plan to democratize Chinese politics. 

US entities were encouraged by their outrage to punish China for the attacks against its citizens. George Bush Sr. imposed economic sanctions against the People's Republic of China because of this violation of human rights. 

Look closely at what is happening in America right now. With our president calling for the military and right-wing groups to attack Black Lives Matter protestors with deadly force, it seems as if history may be repeating itself in the very country that vowed to put human rights over the interest of the governing power. 

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