How Did the Tiananmen Square Massacre Start?


Quick Answer

The Tiananmen Square tragedy was originated by student protests and hunger strikes that began in April 1989, many weeks before the actual tragedy took place. The students and other protesters were asking for democracy to be brought to their country instead of the current communist government that ruled them. The Chinese government was not interested in the idea of democracy and was focused on the increase in jobs and a rise in their place as a world power.

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Full Answer

The Chinese government appealed to the protesters that gathered in the square, trying to bring a peaceful resolution to the protest, but the students and other people gathered in the square would not give up. They began hunger strikes and refused to back down from those even when the current head of government spoke to them and made his requests. Martial law was then put into effect at the end of May. The government sent troops to clear the protesters out of the square and late on June 3 into June 4, 1989, the tragedy in the square began. The number of casualties during this event are unclear. American and other Western entities question the number of 241 dead that China claims. It is suspected by many people that the death toll was much higher, even possibly into the thousands. Despite calls for the records to be released, China still refuses to discuss it and the talk of it inside the country is restricted.

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