Who Was the Man in Front of the Tanks During the Tiananmen Square Protests?


Quick Answer

While the image of one man standing resolutely in front of a line of tanks became the most enduring symbol of the Tiananmen Square protests, no one has been able to conclusively prove his identity. Reports shortly afterward identified him as Wang Weilin, but these reports were never substantiated.

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Full Answer

There are a number of rumors about the ultimate fate of the man who faced down a column of tanks armed only with his shopping bags. Some accounts suggest he was imprisoned or executed shortly after the incident, but internal documents from the Chinese government relate a desperate search for the individual, and the official story remains that he was never found.

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