चीन में थियानमेन चौक पर तीन दशक पहले लोकतंत्र के पक्ष में उठने वाली आवाज को हमेशा के लिए खामोश कर दिया गया। चीनी दमन का नतीजा यह रहा कि आज भी वहां लोकतंत्र का सपना कोसों दूर नजर आता है।
चीन में 4 जून, 1989 को थियानमेन चौका पर कुछ ऐसा हुआ, जिसने इस कम्युनिस्ट देश में लोकतंत्र के लिए उठने वाली मांग को हमेशा के लिए खामोश कर दिया। ये वो तारीख थी जब चीनी प्रशासन ने अपने ही लोगों के खिलाफ सड़कों पर टैंक उतार दिए थे। राजधानी बीजिंग के तियानमेन चौका पर सरेआम उन लोगों का खूब-खराबा किया गया, जो देश में आर्थिक व राजनीतिक सुधारों की मांग को लेकर सड़कों पर उतरे थे।
चीन ने हालांकि जून 1989 के आखिर में जारी एक बयान में उस घटना का हवाला देते हुए 200 आम नागरिकों और कई सुरक्षाकर्मियों के हताहत होने की बात कही थी, लेकिन अंतराष्ट्रीय रिपोर्ट्स में यह संख्या 10,000 तक बताई गई है।
चीन में 1980 के दशक में हुआ यह आंदोलन वास्तव में एक छात्र आंदोलन था, जो धीरे-धीरे जन आंदोलन बन गया और फिर जनतंत्र की प्राप्ति के लिए संघर्ष में तब्दील हो गया। लेकिन इसकी परिणिति तियानानमेन चौक पर बहे सैकड़ों लोगों के खून के रूप में सामने आई।
तियानमेन चौक पर जमा हुए लोग लोकतंत्र समर्थक थे। वे सरकारी नीतियों से नाराज थे। लोकतंत्र में राजनीतिक-आर्थिक सुधारों की मांग सामान्य है, पर कम्युनिस्ट चीन के तत्कालीन प्रशासन को यह नागवार गुजरा और वहां कत्लेआम मच गया।
बीजिंग में तियानमेन चौक पर जमा हुए लोग वे थे, जो चीन में माओ त्से-तुंग द्वारा चलाई गई ‘सर्वहारा सांस्कृतिक क्रांति’ से नाखुश थे। 1966 से 1976 तक चली क्रांति ने चीन के सामाजिक ढांचे में कई बदलाव किए थे।
इसकी शुरुआत करते हुए माओ-त्से-तुंग ने यह भी चेतावनी दी थी कि बुर्जुआ वर्ग कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी में अपना प्रभाव स्थापित करके एक तरह की तानाशाही स्थापित करना चाहता है।
चीन के थियानमेन चौक पर हुए नरसंहार में 10,000 आम लोग मारे गए थे: ब्रिटिश दस्तावेज़
बीजिंग: ब्रिटिश पुरालेख के मुताबिक शहर के थियानमेन चौक पर जून, 1989 में लोकतंत्र समर्थक प्रदर्शनकारियों पर चीनी सेना की कार्रवाई में कम से कम 10,000 आम लोग मारे गए थे. ताज़ा जारी किए गए एक ब्रिटिश ख़ुफिया राजनयिक दस्तावेज़ में नरसंहार के ब्यौरे दिए गए हैं.
चीन में तत्कालीन ब्रिटिश राजदूत एलन डोनाल्ड ने लंदन भेजे गए एक टेलीग्राम में कहा था, कम से कम 10,000 आम नागरिक मारे गए. घटना के 28 साल से भी ज़्यादा समय बाद यह दस्तावेज़ सार्वजनिक किया गया. यह दस्तावेज़ ब्रिटेन के नेशनल आर्काइव्ज़ में पाया गया.
नरसंहार के एक दिन बाद पांच जून, 1989 को बताई गई संख्या उस समय आम तौर पर बताई गई संख्या से करीब 10 गुना ज़्यादा है.
चीनी इतिहास, भाषा एवं संस्कृति के एक फ्रांसीसी विशेषज्ञ ज्यां पीए काबेस्तन ने कहा कि ब्रिटिश आंकड़ा भरोसेमंद है और हाल में सार्वजनिक किए गए अमेरिकी दस्तावेज़ों में भी ऐसा ही आकलन किया गया.
हांगकांग बैपटिस्ट यूनिवसिर्टी के प्रोफेसर काबेस्तन ने कहा, दो स्वतंत्र सूत्र हैं जो एक ही बात कह रहे हैं.
जून, 1989 के अंत में चीनी सरकार ने कहा था कि क्रांति विरोधी दंगों के दमन में 200 असैन्य मारे गए और दर्जनों पुलिस एवं सेनाकर्मी घायल हो गए.
नरसंहार के करीब तीन दशक बाद चीन की कम्युनिस्ट सरकार इस विषय पर किसी भी तरह के बहस, उल्लेख वगैरह की मंज़ूरी नहीं देती. पाठ्यपुस्तकों एवं मीडिया में घटना के उल्लेख की मंज़ूरी नहीं है और इंटरनेट पर इससे जुड़ी सूचना प्रतिबंधित है.
चीन की राजधानी बीजिंग के थियानमेन चौक पर 1989 में छात्रों के नेतृत्व में विशाल विरोध प्रदर्शन हुआ था.
ये विरोध प्रदर्शन अप्रैल 1989 में चीन की कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी के पूर्व महासचिव और उदार सुधारवादी हू याओबांग की मौत के बाद शुरू हुए थे. हू चीन के रुढ़िवादियों और सरकार की आर्थिक और राजनीतिक नीति के विरोध में थे और हारने के कारण उन्हें हटा दिया गया था. छात्रों ने उन्हीं की याद में एक मार्च आयोजित किया था.
थियानमेन चौक पर तीन और चार जून, 1989 को सरकार के ख़िलाफ़ प्रदर्शन शुरू हुए. चीन की पीपल्स लिबरेशन आर्मी ने प्रदर्शन का निर्दयतापूर्ण दमन करते हुए नरसंहार किया. चीनी सेना ने बंदूकों और टैंकरों के ज़रिये शांतिपूर्वक प्रदर्शन कर रहे नि:शस्त्र नागरिकों का दमन किया.
इधर बीजिंग में मार्शल लॉ लागू कर दिया गया था. बताया जाता है कि इस चौक पर छात्र सात सप्ताह से डेरा जमाए बैठे थे. इस प्रदर्शन का जिस तरह से हिंसक दमन किया गया ऐसा चीन के इतिहास में कभी नहीं हुआ था. आज तक इस हिंसक दमन की वजह से चीन की दुनियाभर में आलोचना की जाती है.
सरकारी आंकड़ों के अनुसार 200 लोग मारे गए और लगभग 7 हज़ार घायल हुए थे. किन्तु मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं के अनुसार इस नरसंहार में हज़ारों लोग मारे गए थे.
(CNN)Here is some information about the events in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 3-4, 1989.
Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing, the capital of China.
Tiananmen means “gate of heavenly peace.”
In 1989, after several weeks of demonstrations, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square on June 4 and fired on civilians.
Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to thousands.
It has been estimated that as many as 10,000 people were arrested during and after the protests.
Several dozen people have been executed for their parts in the demonstrations.
April 15, 1989 – Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party leader, dies. Hu had worked to move China toward a more open political system and had become a symbol of democratic reform.
April 18, 1989 – Thousands of mourning students march through the capital to Tiananmen Square, calling for a more democratic government. In the weeks that follow, thousands of people join the students in the square to protest against China’s Communist rulers.
May 13, 1989 – More than 100 students begin a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square. The number increases to several thousand over the next few days.
May 19, 1989 – A rally at Tiananmen Square draws an estimated 1.2 million people. General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Zhao Ziyang, appears at the rally and pleads for an end to the demonstrations.
May 19, 1989 – Premier Li Peng imposes martial law.
June 1, 1989 – China halts live American news telecasts in Beijing, including CNN. Also reporters are prohibited from photographing or videotaping any of the demonstrations or Chinese troops.
June 2, 1989 – A reported 100,000 people attend a concert in Tiananmen Square by singer Hou Dejian, in support of the demonstrators.
June 4, 1989 – At about 1 a.m. Chinese troops reach Tiananmen Square. Throughout the day, Chinese troops fire on civilians and students, ending the demonstrations. An official death toll has never been released.
June 5, 1989 – An unidentified man stands alone in the street, blocking a column of Chinese tanks. He remains there for several minutes before being pulled away by onlookers.
June 5, 1999 – Approximately 70,000 people in Hong Kong take part in a memorial vigil.
June 1, 1999 – The National Security Archive publish “Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History.” The archive includes US State Department documents related to the events that took place during the demonstrations.
January 2001 – Two Chinese scholars publish “The Tiananmen Papers” amid controversy. The papers are presented as a collection of internal government documents including transcriptions of notes, speeches, meeting minutes and eyewitness accounts of the historical disaster. The Chinese government call the papers fabricated material.
February 2006 – Former journalist Yu Dongyue is released from prison after serving 17 years. He was arrested during the Tiananmen Square protests for throwing paint at a portrait of Mao Zedong.
June 4, 2009 – Tens of thousands of people commemorate the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square at a gathering in Hong Kong. In Beijing, journalists are barred from the square while the government blocks foreign news sites and Twitter.
April 2011 – The National Museum of China in Tiananmen Square is newly renovated and open to the public. The building contains no exhibits mentioning the events of June 1989.
2012 – Wuer Kaixi, one of the organizers of the Tiananmen Square protest, attempts to return to China by turning himself over to the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC. The embassy does not answer the door.
June 3, 2015 – Twenty-six years after the uprising in Tiananmen Square, a State Department Spokesperson issues a statement calling for the release of those still serving “Tiananmen-related sentences.”
October 15, 2016 – China is set to release Miao Deshun, the last known prisoner of the uprising, according to Dui Hua, a San Francisco-based human rights organization.
Tiananmen Square incident
CHINESE HISTORY 
WRITTEN BY: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Tiananmen Square incident, also called June Fourth incident or 6/4, series of protests and demonstrations in China in the spring of 1989 that culminated on the night of June 3–4 with a government crackdown on the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Although the demonstrations and their subsequent repression occurred in cities throughout the country, the events in Beijing—and especially in Tiananmen Square, historically linked to such other protests as the May Fourth Movement (1919)—came to symbolize the entire incident.
Emergence And Spread Of Unrest
By the spring of 1989 there was growing sentiment among university students and others in China for political and economic reform. The country had experienced a decade of remarkable economic growth and liberalization, and many Chinese had been exposed to foreign ideas and standards of living. In addition, although the economic advances in China had brought new prosperity to many citizens, it was accompanied by price inflation and opportunities for corruption by government officials. In the mid-1980s the central government had encouraged some people (notably scientists and intellectuals) to assume a more active political role, but student-led demonstrations calling for more individual rights and freedoms in late 1986 and early 1987 caused hard-liners in the government and Chinese Communist Party(CCP) to suppress what they termed “bourgeois liberalism.” One casualty of this tougher stance was Hu Yaobang, who had been the CCP general secretary since 1980 and who had encouraged democratic reforms; in January 1987 he was forced to resign his post.
The catalyst for the chain of events in the spring of 1989 was the death of Hu in mid-April; Hu was transformed into a martyr for the cause of political liberalization. On the day of his funeral (April 22), tens of thousands of students gathered in Tiananmen Square demanding democratic and other reforms. For the next several weeks, students in crowds of varying sizes—eventually joined by a wide variety of individuals seeking political, social, and economic reforms—gathered in the square. The initial government response was to issue stern warnings but take no action against the mounting crowds in the square. Similar demonstrations rose up in a number of other Chinese cities, notably Shanghai, Nanjing, Xi’an, Changsha, and Chengdu. However, the principal outside media coverage was in Beijing, in part because a large number of Western journalists had gathered there to report on the visit to China by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in mid-May. Shortly after his arrival, a demonstration in Tiananmen Square drew some one million participants and was widely broadcast overseas.
Meanwhile, an intense debate ensued among government and party officials on how to handle the mounting protests. Moderates, such as Zhao Ziyang (Hu Yaobang’s successor as party general secretary), advocated negotiating with the demonstrators and offering concessions. However, they were overruled by hard-liners led by Chinese premier Li Peng and supported by paramount elder statesman Deng Xiaoping, who, fearing anarchy, insisted on forcibly suppressing the protests.
During the last two weeks of May, martial law was declared in Beijing, and army troops were stationed around the city. However, an attempt by the troops to reach Tiananmen Square was thwarted when Beijing citizens flooded the streets and blocked their way. Protesters remained in large numbers in Tiananmen Square, centring themselves around a plaster statue called “Goddess of Democracy,” near the northern end of the square. Western journalists also maintained a presence there, often providing live coverage of the events.
Crackdown And Aftermath
By the beginning of June, the government was ready to act again. On the night of June 3–4, tanks and heavily armed troops advanced toward Tiananmen Square, opening fire on or crushing those who again tried to block their way. Once the soldiers reached the square, a number of the few thousand remaining demonstrators there chose to leave rather than face a continuation of the confrontation. By morning the area had been cleared of protesters, though sporadic shootings occurred throughout the day. The military also moved in forcibly against protesters in several other Chinese cities, including Chengdu, but in Shanghai the mayor, Zhu Rongji (later to become the premier of China), was able to negotiate a peaceful settlement. By June 5 the military had secured complete control, though during the day there was a notable, widely reported incident involving a lone protester momentarily facing down a column of tanks as it advanced on him near the square.
In the aftermath of the crackdown, the United States instituted economic and diplomatic sanctions for a time, and many other foreign governments criticized China’s handling of the protesters. The Western media quickly labeled the events of June 3–4 a “massacre.” The Chinese government arrested thousands of suspected dissidents; many of them received prison sentences of varying lengths of time, and a number were executed. However, several dissident leaders managed to escape from China and sought refuge in the West, notably Wu’er Kaixi. The disgraced Zhao Ziyang was soon replaced as party general secretary by Jiang Zemin and put under house arrest.
From the outset of the incident, the Chinese government’s official stance was to downplay its significance, labeling the protesters “counterrevolutionaries” and minimizing the extent of the military’s actions on June 3–4. The government’s count of those killed was 241 (including soldiers), with some 7,000 wounded; most other estimates have put the death toll much higher. In the years since the incident, the government generally has attempted to suppress references to it. Public commemoration of the incident is officially banned. However, the residents of Hong Konghave held an annual vigil on the anniversary of the crackdown, even after Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Kenneth Pletcher, Senior Editor.
1989 Tiananmen Square protests
Protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989 © Shao Jiang
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds if not thousands of unarmed peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Beijing and the arrest of tens of thousands of demonstrators in cities across China.
The protesters, based in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, were peacefully calling for political and economic reform. In response, the Chinese authorities responded with overwhelming force to repress the demonstrations.
Military units were brought in and unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed en masse. The Chinese government has never acknowledged the true events surrounding the Tiananmen massacre. It remains a contentious topic in China, with authorities banning all mention of the protest even today.
Events leading up to the Tiananmen protests
From April 1989 people from across China gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to mourn the death of the liberal Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang and share their frustrations about the slow pace of promised reform.
The gathering turned into peaceful protests which spread across the provinces of China as demonstrators, mainly students, began to call for an end to official corruption and for political and economic reform.
A million demonstrators on the streets
On 13 May, hundreds of student protesters in Tiananmen Square went on hunger strike in order to speak push for talks with Communist Party leaders. It is estimated that one million people joined the protests in Beijing to express their support for the students on hunger strike and to demand reform.
Martial law declared
Party leaders visited the student protests on 19 May. The protesters ended their hunger strike that evening. However, the next day martial law was declared in Beijing to ‘firmly stop the unrest’.
In the weeks that followed the declaration of martial law, hundreds of thousands of people once again protested on the streets of Beijing, with similar demonstrations taking place in cities across China.
Military open fire on civilians
‘The troops are by no means targeted at the students. Under no circumstances will [the troops] harm innocent people, let alone young students.’
Official New China News Agency, 1 May 1989
Overnight on 3 to 4 June, the government sent tens of thousands of armed troops and hundreds of armoured military vehicles into the city centre to enforce martial law and forcibly clear the streets of demonstrators. The government wanted to ‘restore order’ in the capital.
As they approached the demonstrations, troops opened fire on crowds of protesters and onlookers. They gave no warning before they started shooting.
‘The first casualty in the square was rushed away – a girl with her face smashed and bloody, carried spread-eagled towards the trees. Another followed – a youth with a bloody mess around his chest.’
John Gittings, The Guardian
As the troops kept firing into the crowds, some of those running away were shot in the back. Others were crushed to death by military vehicles. No one knows the death toll from Tiananmen that night.
‘We took the wounded on stretchers and went down [Tiananmen] Square. As we went down the side of the Square, we saw soldiers with large plastic bags. They were putting people in the bags. I could not tell how many people…
‘There were also people surrounded by soldiers, being kicked by them. I could hear shouts and the odd gunshot. I thought there were around 200 young people. In early July, I heard from Public Security [police] sources that they had all been executed on 9 June in a rural district near Beijing. They included students and residents of Beijing.’
Eyewitness account from a protester
The Tiananmen protests were immortalised in Western media on 5 June through the image of a lone man in a white shirt carrying shopping bags, facing an imposing column of military tanks sent by the government to disperse protesters. The man is known simply as Tank Man: his identity has never been confirmed.
Tank Man would not let the military vehicles pass. He succeeded. Eventually, he was pulled out of the way of danger by onlookers. But the image of unarmed man versus tank quickly came to symbolise the struggle of the Tiananmen protesters – peaceful protest met with military might.
‘It demonstrates one man’s extraordinary courage, standing up in front of a row of tanks, being prepared to sacrifice his own life for the sake of social justice’
Stuart Franklin, Tank Man photographer
Stuart Franklin took the Tank Man photograph. In the short film below he talks about how he came to capture what would become one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century.
Crackdown following protests
Immediately after the military crackdown, the Chinese authorities began to hunt down those involved in the demonstrations. Thousands of people were detained, tortured, imprisoned or executed after unfair trials charged with ‘counter-revolutionary’ crimes.
The Chinese authorities have never disclosed the total number of people detained, tried or executed throughout China since the June 1989 crackdown.
In the climate of terror which followed the massacre, the relatives of those killed were not only unable to seek justice for their loss; they were even unable to mourn openly the dead, who were officially described as ‘rioters’.
Tiananmen remains a banned subject in China
Tiananmen and the 1989 crackdown remains an official taboo topic in China. There is no official death toll. Attempts to discuss, commemorate and demand justice for what happened have been forcefully curbed, with no public discussion allowed. Since 1989 many people have been imprisoned for commemorating events or questioning the official line.
Only recently a court in Changshu in eastern China found Gu Yimin guilty of inciting state subversion after he tried to post images of the post-Tiananmen crackdown online and applied to stage a protest on the 24th anniversary.