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Tiananmen Square,large public square in BeijingBeijing
, city and independent municipality (2010 pop. 19,612,368), capital of the People's Republic of China. It is in central Hebei prov., but constitutes an independent unit (6,564 sq mi/17,000 sq km) administered directly by the national government.
..... Click the link for more information. , China, on the southern edge of the Inner or Tatar City. The square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall (with Mao's embalmed body). Mao ZedongMao Zedong
or Mao Tse-tung
, 1893–1976, founder of the People's Republic of China. Mao was one of the most prominent Communist theoreticians and his ideas on revolutionary struggle and guerrilla warfare have been extremely influential, especially among Third
..... Click the link for more information. proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic in the square on Oct. 1, 1949, an anniversary still observed there.
A massive demonstration for democratic reform, begun there by Chinese students in Apr., 1989, was brutally repressed on June 3 and 4. It was initiated to demand the posthumous rehabilitation of former Communist Party Chairman Hu YaobangHu Yaobang
, 1915–89, Chinese Communist political leader, b. Hunan prov. A protegé of Deng Xiaoping, Hu became general secretary of the Communist party in 1980 and party chairman in 1981, effectively replacing Hua Guofeng as leader of the Communist party.
..... Click the link for more information. . The government was tolerant until after his funeral; then Deng XiaopingDeng Xiaoping
or Teng Hsiao-p'ing
, 1904–97, Chinese revolutionary and government leader, b. Sichuan prov. Deng became a member of the Chinese Communist party while studying in France (1920–25) and later (1926) attended Sun Yatsen Univ., Moscow.
..... Click the link for more information. denounced the protests. The demonstrators were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, until over a million people filled the square. General Secretary Zhao ZiyangZhao Ziyang
or Chao Tzu-yang
, 1919–2005, Chinese Communist leader. He joined the party in 1938, was active as a local party leader during World War II, and by the 1960s was party secretary of Guangdong prov.
..... Click the link for more information. expressed sympathy, but lost out to Deng, who supported the use of military suppression. Martial law was declared on May 20. The protesters demanded that the leadership resign, but the government answered on June 3–4 with troops and tanks, killing thousands to quell a "counterrevolutionary rebellion." Zhao was dismissed and a number of the student leaders were arrested.