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Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square, large public square in Beijing, 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 Zedong 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 Yaobang. The government was tolerant until after his funeral; then Deng Xiaoping denounced the protests. The demonstrators were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, until over a million people filled the square. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang 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.

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Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square World's largest public square, covering 40ha (98 acres) in Beijing, China. On the s side, a marble monument is dedicated to the heroes of the revolution. A gate on the the n side leads into the Forbidden City. A huge portrait of Mao adorns the side of the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. On May 4, 1919, China's first mass public rally was held in the square, and on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China. In 1966, Mao made his pronouncements on the Cultural Revolution to more than one million Red Guards assembled in the square. In April 1989, a series of nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations culminated in the occupation of the square by protesters. Hundreds of thousands of citizens joined in the demonstrations. On June 4, 1989, tanks and troops stormed the square. Official casualties were put at more than 200 demonstrators and dozens of soldiers. Eyewitness reports suggest thousands of deaths. The government imposed a year-long martial law and executed several student leaders.

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Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square a square in the centre of Beijing adjacent to the Forbidden City, the largest public open space in the world. In spring 1989 it was occupied by hundreds of thousands of student-led protesters of the emerging pro-democracy movement. Government troops opened fire there on unarmed protesters, killing over 2,000.

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