Tiananamen Square was the venue for the largest pro-democracy pressure group in China in 1989. Massive protests and demonstrations started after the death of Hu Yaobang, a party leader who was against the ruling of the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. The protests started in April with people condemning the rapid increase in corruption and demanding embracement of democracy that Hu symbolized (Langley, 2009). Thousands of students all over China joined arms together and called upon support from other citizens to join in the demonstrations. The unemployed workers joined the demonstrations. There are estimates that the city had more than three million demonstrators. Fearing a civil uprising, the government declared the martial laws, and the army took over on until June fourth. The protestors opposed these laws and confrontations between them and the army begun. The protestors threw themselves in from of the tankers while the army fired, killed, and wounded thousands of the protestors.
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It is a fact that both the Chinese communists and the West do not have accurate information about the Tiananmen Square event. The western Human Rights Crusaders insists that there was a massacre that claimed the lives of very many people (Brown, 2002). The Chinese government, on the other hand, still maintains that there was no massacre and they down-play the weightiness of the protests and the subsequent massacre. The communists’ government claims that only two hundred and forty one people lost their lives, inclusive of the soldiers. However, experts claim that more than eight hundred people lost their lives. The Chinese government still continues to hide vital information about the massacre, in an attempt to hide the truth of the events of the month of June 1989 (Langley, 2009).
The Chinese government also claims that the killing did not take place in the square. When the uprising started, many people, led by the students headed to the square. Unemployed people and other disgruntled workers joined the uprising, and within a month, protests had erupted in many cities (Manning, 1997). The Chinese communists claim that the deaths took place outside the square, in the streets of Beijing. According to them, the government had orders that the army should not use any weapons against the protestors. However, the protestors provoked the army to use so much force when they started throwing themselves in front of the tankers. This triggered the army to use force that killed most civilians. The western community, on the other hand, claims that the protestors were in the square when the army forced their way in to the square, started shooting and crashing the protestors. They claim that the army took the action after the government announced the martial laws to be in place.
The Chinese government calls this event the June 4th Incident. This is an indication of the fact the Chinese considers this as a minor incidence that did not warrant a massacre. In fact, the Western community created the name Tiananmen Square massacre, creating the impression that the event was indeed a massacre, where innocent, and non-students died. Beijing correspondents claim the western community spread irresponsible news about the incident. However, they agree that some individuals died, but not in the square (Manning, 1997).
The Chinese government now refers to this incident as an incident of the last century and claims that it is now settled. The government asks the international community to do nothing about the incident since it was just a small incident, which has now been settled. The western community, however, changed their view on china. Major criticism and condemnation all around the world was directed towards china as a result of this incidence. The United States of America, Britain and Soviet Union, were particularly involved in the condemnation of the attacks on the students and the protestors (Malloy, 2001). They demanded investigations and questioned the ability of the human rights activists in china.
The western media and the community at large claim that the massacre mainly claimed the lives of many students, who had assembled at the square. This led to denunciation and sanction against china by the United States of America (Batholomew, 2010), while other leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev announced their discontent on the way the government handled the uprising (Malloy, 2001). However, the Chinese government reported that no students lost their lives in the protest. The government claims that it had put up with protests and even negotiated for compromises with the student leaders. They also add that by the time the army entered the square the students had already left, and the uprising were about to end. They, however, blame the western media for blowing this incidence out of proportion. It blames the western for portraying the Chinese government as brutal.
The Chinese government intentionally avoids giving count of the number of people who died during the crash with the army. The Red Cross in China reported that 2,600 people died, but the organization retracted this statement, and the government gave an announcement of around 241 people (Brown, 2002. The western community doubts this number of victims and claims that many people lost their lives, the blame the Chinese government of hiding the truth about the exact number of people who lost their lives (Copper, 2006). Moreover, this claims that this is an attempt by the Chinese government to prove that the events of June Fourth were not a massacre. The Chinese government, however, claims that this was an uprising, but most people had already left the square by the time the army struck.
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