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Submitted By kyrafrederick19

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241 people dead, and 7,000 wounded those were the numbers given by the Chinese government after the violence during the Tiananmen Square conflict in 1989. A more modern example of when a government turns its troops on protesters can be compared to the youth revolt in France in 2006. In France there were students protesting a labor bill that they believed to be unfair and in the case of the Tiananmen square conflict students and residents both protested because they believed their government to be unfair as well not following the Chinese Constitution. There are a few factors that could have contributed such as cultural, economical, or political ones. The main reason that many believe to be what led to the protests is the death of Hu Yaobang. Hu was the general secretary of the Communist party of China. He was considered controversial because he believed that the government should become more western in there policies and was a supporter of democracy. When Hu Yaobang suddenly died of a heart attack on 15 April 1989,students began to organize on the 16 of April. Millions of people joined the march making it as said by the article China-Conflict at Tiananmen Square: “ the greatest challenge to the communist state in China since the 1949 revolution”. The protests lasted for seven weeks until June 3 when the army moved into the area shooting random protesters. Outside governments were horrified but what had happened. UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said she was “shocked and appalled by the shootings”.

Three ways that cultural reasons could be one of the factors that helped cause the conflict are these. First, the student protesting is of cultural importance because they were marching to gain democracy and freedom. They wanted to be seen as citizens. As told to author of Massacre in Beijing during an interview with a reporter a student made the comment “we are not your children…” they no longer wanted to be under a communist rule. Another thing that is culturally important is that they wanted freedom of speech as well as freedom of the press, which is said in the Chinese constitution. The end of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which was a movement that took place from 1966 through 1976 and created a stepping-stone to the unrest of the people.

Economical reasons could also be an important factor as to why the conflict happened. The first reason is that China went through an economic reform, which, said by the article 1989 student movement and Tiananmen Square “provided the backdrop for a large-scale protest movement by students, intellectuals, and others parts of a disaffected urban population”. The government tried to pass “The Four Modernizations”, which, were an attempt to help China’s economy that the public did not agree with. Inflation also played a big part in the economical factors that could have contributed to the massacre.

Finally, there are a few political reason that might have been an important factor of the Tiananmen Massacre. First, there was political corruption going on such as the ousting of Zhao Ziyang an important member of the government. Also, it has been suggested that communist leader Deng Xiaoping ordered the massacre by the troops according to the book The Iron House a memoir of the Chinese Democracy Movement and the Tiananmen Massacre. Last, there was a lot of social unrest in Eastern Europe because of the fall of communism there. The president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev met with Deng in may 1989 and created relations between the two countries.

In conclusion, because of the possible cultural, economical, or political factors the Chinese government turned their army onto their people who were protesting. It caused 241 deaths and 7,000 people to be injured. During an interview on CNN in 2006 commentator Kyra Phillips compared the protests during the French youth revolt to the Tiananmen Square conflict because of the protests against their government, although in that situation there were no deaths. Both occurrences shocked the world but more so than the massacre at Tiananmen Square if only because of the not fully known death count and the horrifying stories of the violence there.

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